Pubdate: Mon, 04 Sep 2000
Source: Star-Ledger (NJ)
Copyright: 2000 Newark Morning Ledger Co.
Contact:  1 Star-Ledger Plaza, Newark, N.J., 07102-1200
Author: Chris Cicchino


Matthew Hopkins' rallying cry (Speaking Up, Aug. 23) to continue the war on 
drugs because drugs are simply evil is absurd. The government should have 
no say in what we put into our bodies.

Thomas Jefferson said, "The legitimate powers of government should extend 
only to such acts that are injurious to another person or property." 
Despite this, we have hypocritically decided that alcohol and nicotine (by 
far the most harmful and addictive drugs) are legal to consume but 
marijuana and cocaine and other drugs are not. Drug addicts need medical 
help, not jail. It is much cheaper to rehabilitate them than to incarcerate 

According to the government's own statistics, 65 million Americans use 
illegal drugs while only 2 million are classified as having drug problems. 
So 63 million use drugs casually without lying, cheating, stealing or 
ripping families apart as Hopkins claims. The drug war wastes billions of 
dollars, punishes those who use drugs for pleasure and harm no one and 
fails to get those with addictions help. The real evil is ignorance.

Chris Cicchino, Kearny, NJ
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