Pubdate: Sat, 19 Feb 2011
Source: Garden Island (Lihue, HI)
Copyright: 2011 The Garden Island
Author: Gordon LaBedz


As a family physician, I can tell you that the overwhelming majority
of people who drink alcohol and use drugs for medicine and recreation
cause no harm to themselves or society. The small proportion of those
that abuse drugs and alcohol, should be seen as patients, not as criminals.

If anyone has any doubt as to why this country continues the costly
"war" on drugs, look no further than the front page of The Garden
Island, Feb. 16.

Why do police and DAs advocate for the drug "war?" There is a large
infrastructure of people, mainly in the government, who make their
living because drugs are illegal.

It is not just the local pot growers and the Mexican drug lords who
want the high prices that drug illegality provides for them. It is
also the police and DAs who want to go after "moral crimes" instead of
violent crimes and crimes against property.

If illegal drugs were made OK, we could lay off policemen, helicopter
pilots, prison guards, district attorneys, public defenders, mandatory
"treatment" programs and all sorts of folks who make their living
fighting the so-called drug war.

Our island people suffer most from crimes caused by repeat thieves,
violent offenders and family abusers. They are far more dangerous than
people who smoke pot.

It would be a blessing to our island if pot were legal and Prosecuting
Attorney Shaylene Carvalho and Keith Kamita, deputy director of law
enforcement, could spend their time and attention to protecting us
from real crimes.

Gordon LaBedz, MD, Kekaha
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