Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
Date: 11/11/1999
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Author: Bob Melamede

While heroin is a dangerous and addictive drug, like tobacco, the only
drug that has in and of it self been associated with violent behavior
is alcohol. The violence that results from illegal drugs is a direct
result of the law.When poorly concieved laws create an artificially
inflated value on an inexpensive item like heroin and drive
transactions into a blackmarket, violence is the result.

This sad, but inescapable fact has been demonstrated during America's
bout with alcohol prohibition, and more recently when the Canadians
levied extrodinary taxes on cigarettes. They had the sense to reduce
the taxes as we had the sense to repeal prohibition. The per capita
consumption of heroin is similar today to what is was when the drug
was legal at the turn of the century.

Most people have, and had, the common sense to not use the drug.
Those who are unfortunate to be addicted should be helped, not further
harmed by criminality. I never hear drug wariors proposing that
tobacco should be made illegal to help people to stop smoking.