Pubdate: Sat, 03 Jul 1999
Date: 07/03/1999
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Author: Patrick Froehlich
Note: Original:

"Drug addiction fuels murderous trend" is a misleading title, which
gives the impression that drug addiction itself causes violence. In
fact, nearly all drug-related murders can be attributed to the
underground economy based around their sale.

The black market for illegal drugs operates in the same manner as any
other black market. People cannot buy illegal drugs with checks or
credit cards, so large amounts of cash are involved. Drug dealers are
prime targets for rip-off artists.

Since legal authorities can't be called in, drug disputes must be
settled with violence. This endangers users, dealers and others who
just happen to be in the area when shots start going off.

The illegal drug trade requires three things to exist: a supply of
drugs, a demand for drugs and laws prohibiting their sale and
possession. Removing any one of these would cause the black market to

Many years of drug prohibition have failed to eliminate them or even
reduce demand or supply.

It's long past time for our leaders to quit pretending they can
eliminate the drug market and start regulating it.

Patrick Froehlich,
Richmond, Va.