Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Date: 07/17/1998
Source: Fresno Bee (CA)
Author: Pat Dolan

I would like to thank Donald E. Coleman for a very informative report
("22 arrested in drug raids at eight sites," July 8). However, it
leaves one or two important questions unanswered.

When one officer says, "This will put a halt to some of the crime
activity," does he really believe that? The reading I have done
persuades me to the contrary.

Why? Because drugs, like any other commodity, are subject to market
forces which are as inevitable in their operation as the law of gravity.

When things are in short supply the price goes up. Has this happened?
I doubt it.

As long as demand remains constant, profit provides the incentive for
the distributor. Since the prohibition-inflated profits are huge, for
every dealer who falls by the wayside ten are waiting to take his place.

Every now and again, one might say, "the old order gives place to the
new." Your friendly neighborhood dealer may be wearing a new face,
operating from a different corner - or with a different cell-phone
pass-word - but these changes are merely cosmetic.

The real problem remains unchanged. Prohibition is the problem. It is
prohibition which, predictably, drove the commerce

Pat Dolan Vancouver, B.C.