Pubdate: Sun, 24 Sep 2000
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2000 Houston Chronicle
Contact:  Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210-4260
Fax: (713) 220-3575
Author: Everett Black


The only results are a serious negative impact on our balance of trade
and the creation of drug lords who take the same attitude as
bootleggers did during Prohibition, opposing any law that might lower
street prices.

Any drugs interdicted represent only a small fraction of the total
supply passing through our system.

And when there is a temporary shortage, resulting in price increases,
the user is not likely to say, "Well, my habit is getting too
expensive. I think I should quit now." More likely there would be a
corresponding increase in burglaries, robberies and assaults.

The chief result of our misguided effort to regulate an unregulatable
product is the criminalization of a huge percentage of our youth. If
they are not in prison for doing drugs, they are there for illegal
activities, the purpose of which was to obtain drugs.

And it certainly does make a difference who you are and who you

There is a remarkably simple way to settle the question of the
illegality of drugs. Let's arrange for every person who is on a
federal, state, county, city or precinct payroll to take periodic drug
tests, beginning when he or she files for office or applies for work.

This would assure us that everyone from the custodian at the
courthouse to the president of the United States would have a clear
opinion -- one not based on "do as I say, not as I do."

Anyone who uses drugs is stupid. The ones who want to perpetuate this
escalating system of building new prisons to accommodate more and more
of our citizens are even more stupid.

Once a person goes to prison, the odds are slim to none that he will
ever become a self-sufficient, productive taxpayer.

One may survive doing drugs (or not), but rarely does a con become
anything but an ex-con.

Everett Black, Huntsville
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