Pubdate: Thu, 07 Sep 2000
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Author: Gordon Taylor


The Sept. 3 editorial "Despite risks, Colombia aid makes sense" surprised me. It listed numerous reasons that this specific element in the current war against drugs might fail--there are really many others also. Why support a losing cause? Why not suggest some alternatives?

The Dayton Daily News is backing the same type of attack that was made on liquor during Prohibition. Did we not learn anything from that? If Prohibition were in effect today, would the Daily News favor supplying Canada with funds to stop production of liquor that was coming into the United States?

There is no real free debate on alternative ways to solve the drug problem. There is no free debate because politicians view any criticism of our current draconian methods as more of a "third-rail" situation than Social Security ever was. So I don't expect them to venture forth in this field until the voters begin to demand something different and more effective.

This is where a newspaper such as the Dayton Daily News comes in. It has the capacity to influence public opinion by raising issues and supplying background information that can cause the electorate to demand a critical review of failing policies.

There are more than enough facets to the overall drug problem to provide a real challenge to a team of motivated reporters. And it would provide more stimulating reading than a lukewarm advocacy for the very questionable expenditure of billions of dollars where earlier billions have been wasted.

Gordon Taylor, Centerville
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