Pubdate: Fri, 28 Sep 2012
Source: Burlington County Times (NJ)
Copyright: 2012 Calkins Newspapers. Inc.
Author: Ed Stabler


I just saw an article regarding 50 arrests that had been made in 
Camden in response to the tragic deaths of local children at the 
hands of a person under the influence of PCP-adulterated marijuana.

I wish someone with the required knowledge to do so would add up just 
how much these 50 arrests will cost our strapped economy.

Let's see, there are the costs to pay the investigating detectives; 
the salaries of the police officers making these arrests; the costs 
of booking suspects; the costs of housing those who cannot make bail; 
the costs of paying prosecutors, judges and court personnel; the 
costs of public defenders for those who cannot afford lawyers; the 
costs of prison sentences; the costs of probation and parole, and 
whatever else there is.

What are we getting in return for all these tax dollars invested? Has 
the prohibition of possessing drugs, such as marijuana, succeeded?

More than $50 billion is spent each year on the so-called war on 
drugs, and drug use has gone from less than 10 percent in 1970 to 
about 30 percent in 2010. So, no, it does not work.

In a time of economic hardship, can we afford to keep throwing 
hard-earned money after poorly spent money? Isn't it time for someone 
to come up with a successful plan that will not continue to cost us 
billions of dollars?

If we turn this problem over to doctors and scientists, instead of 
politicians and police, without hampering them by demanding a method 
for stopping recreational drug use (after all, what is alcohol use?), 
then we will probably succeed.

Ed Stabler

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