Source: Standard-Times (MA) 
Pubdate: Friday 26 June 1998
Author: Pat Dolan
Note: The following LTE is in response to a Standard-Times editorial which
can be found at
Note also: As a quick search of our website will show, Pat is a very
successful LTE writer!


Re: "There's no apparent value in repeating the Drug Watch experiment," by
editor Ken Hartnett (June 22):

Thank you, Ken Hartnett, for a very informative report. I hope you will
permit me to take issue with you on one crucial point.

You share Jim Ragsdale's rage at drug trafficking, "what it did, and
continues to do, to this city", laying the blame at the door of the drug
barons and importers. But you omitted to tell us who created the drug cartels.

Is it not obvious that the government created them when it abdicated its
responsibility for the regulation of certain drugs, just as it created the
bootleggers' market when it prohibited alcohol in the '20s?

Prohibition of the drug alcohol entailed chronic corruption and social
disruption bordering, in cities such as Chicago and New York, on complete

How is it that we have no problem of black market alcohol in the nation's
schoolyards? Because the government took the distribution and regulation
out of the hands of the bootleggers.

In my view, as long as that unholy trinity -- police, press and politicians
- -- continue to march in lock-step providing scare stories, Prohibition will
remain in place, and our schoolgrounds and inner cities, I fear, will
continue to be inundated with drugs.

Let the government re-assume its responsibilities for the regulation of all
drugs and your friendly neighborhood pusher will find himself unable to
make ends meet. He will gradually disappear, the distribution network will
collapse, and our schools will no longer be invaded by pushers and
policemen with sniffer dogs.

PAT DOLAN Vancouver, B.C. 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake