Pubdate: Fri, 15 Oct 2010
Source: Contra Costa Times (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Steven Yuen
Author: Steven Yuen


The price of the American drug war this year is nearing $40 billion.
Our prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders, and violence along
the Mexican-U.S. border is constant.

One might think the only victims of the drug war are drug users and
criminals, although this is not necessarily the case.

In Mexico, there have been an estimated 28,000 deaths since Felipe
Calderon has taken office and pledged to fight drug criminals.

On the other end of the spectrum, Portugal decriminalized all drugs in
2001. Instead of jail, offenders were offered treatment as long as the
amount of drugs was for personal use.

Five years later, drug use actually declined, the number of people
seeking recovery doubled, and the number of HIV infections decreased.

Prohibition didn't work with alcohol, and Al Capone benefitted
enormously from it until it was legalized and sent him toppling soon

Are we going to continue promoting violence and needless arrests to
stay true to morals, or are we able to admit that there are better
things to worry about?

Steven Yuen

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