Pubdate: Wed, 06 Dec 2000
Date: 12/06/2000
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Author: Peter Watney

The Australian Institute of Criminology's annual ACT drug survey
reported by Leah de Forest (CT p4, Dec 1) adds urgency to the need to
change our present policies.

The report mentions use commencing as young as 12 years.

There is no point in blaming the 12 year olds, or in blaming their
parents or their school. These facts have been discovered
retrospectively by anecdotes extracted from the users years after they
started use, and only then because their use has come to attention.

There is no point in blaming the traffickers, because we are only able
to identify a small percentage of them, and their arrest and
incarceration immediately results in a new recruit or two to their
profitable ranks.

Twentieth Century prohibition has resulted in profit margins far
greater than for any service or product throughout world history.

This trend will worsen until we have the courage to bring these
dangerous drugs back within the law, remove the enormous profit
margins that encourage sale to disaffected young, and provide adequate
treatment to dependent users.