Pubdate: Thurs, 07 Oct 1999
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 1999 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Tom Barrus, Pharmacist & MBA


In your Sept. 28 editorial, "U.S. Drug legalization an unnecessary
surrender," you cite a study that says that "drug use among young
Americans has declined 13 percent since 1985."

Wrong! Tobacco drug use is actually increasing among young Americans.
If the Globe-News believes that the nation should not "cease
prosecuting those who consume illegal drugs," then should the nation
start prosecuting those who consume drugs (namely tobacco and alcohol)
that are much more harmful than any illegal drug?

If you are correct that legalizing drugs is not an answer in and of
itself, then doesn't it follow that legalizing tobacco and alcohol is
not an answer in and of itself?

Does the Globe-News support the criminalization of tobacco and
alcohol, or the regulation of coca and opium?

Do you support hypocrisy or honesty? "Why give drug abusers license to
feed their habit and subject themselves and their families to the
misery that illicit drugs can bring to them?" you ask. "The human cost
not to mention the financial cost simply is too great." The
misuse of the illegal drugs heroin and cocaine accounts for about
10,000 or fewer deaths annually, with zero deaths from cannabis, while
tobacco and alcohol use accounts for more than 500,000 deaths
annually. Which human and financial cost is "too great"?

It is the tobacco and alcohol drug pushers who are really poisoning
and killing our youth (and adults).

Can we repeal the unlawful exemptions of tobacco and alcohol from the
drug laws? Can we compromise by applying the same set of laws and
regulations fairly, honestly and equally to all drugs, including
tobacco and alcohol? Can we repeal violent, uncontrolled prohibition
and restore regulated, peaceful liberty?

Tom Barrus 
Pharmacist & MBA American Federation for Legal Consistency
Golden, Colo.
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