Pubdate: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 Date: 06/12/2000 Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Robert Heimer To the Editor: Your June 5 editorial "Drug Laws That Misfired" states that the draconian drug laws enacted in New York in the 1970's failed to cut drug trafficking or drug addiction while filling state prisons with nonviolent offenders. It should be added to this list that these laws failed to make illegal drugs harder to obtain. In fact, it appears that the opposite has occurred. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the cost of heroin on the streets of New York City decreased between 1988 and 1995. In 1988, $100 could buy 107 milligrams of pure heroin; by 1995, $100 could buy 318 milligrams. It should be clear from these data that spending huge sums to pursue policies of supply reduction and incarceration have done nothing to keep heroin from being readily available and, it seems, cheap. ROBERT HEIMER New Haven, June 6, 2000 The writer is an associate professor, department of epidemiology and public health, Yale School of Medicine.