Pubdate: Tue, 17 Apr 2012
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2012 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.
Author: Jack A. Cole


George Will correctly points out how our drug laws create 
opportunities for gangs and cartels to make billions of dollars 
tax-free by filling the seemingly insatiable demand ("Drug policy 
calls for further review," April 12).

But Will is wrong to assume that legalization would cause a sharp 
rise in drug problems. As a former undercover detective who sent more 
people to jail for drugs than I'd like to admit, I've seen that 
criminalization is not an effective deterrent.

When we legalize and regulate drugs and stop wasting so many 
resources punishing people for a health problem, we can devote more 
funding to treatment programs that actually do work. Only under 
legalized regulation can we require testing and labeling drugs for 
potency and purity so users know what they are putting in their 
bodies. And when we remove the criminal stigma associated with 
addiction, people will be less afraid to seek treatment or to call 
for lifesaving medical attention during overdose situations.

- - Jack A. Cole, Medford

The writer is co-founder and board chair of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
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