Pubdate: Tue, 04 Aug 1998
Date: 04/08/1998
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Author: Kelly T. Conlon

I applaud columnist Rosie DiManno for having the guts to tell it like
it is (Waging war on drugs does not pay, April 1).

I agree that the war on unpopular drugs is unwinnable, unworkable, and
that it's about time we change the course of our policy, preferably
through decriminalization.

I have fears, however, that her policy cure may be as bad as or worse
than the so-called disease.

She suggests that we redirect our efforts toward finding a cure for
addiction, perhaps in the form of a pill.

This suggests that every single person who smokes pot, snort cocaine
and injects heroin is sick.

It also suggests that all users desire to be cured.

In the absence of criminal sanctions, would the state feel obliged to
force recalcitrant drug users into treatment for their own good?

Or would we simply provide drug users with whatever quantity of drugs
they can afford to buy?

It is a question left unanswered by DiManno.

In that respect, I am inclined to agree with the views of the American
psychologist Thomas Szasz, as expressed in his seminal work,
Ceremonial Chemistry.

We must recognize the modern drug war for what it is, a moral crusade
to purify the soul of the country.

Kelly T. Conlon