Pubdate: Wed, 04 Oct 2000
Source: Collegiate Times (VA)
Copyright: 2000 Collegiate Times
Contact:  (540)231-5057
Address: 363 Squires Student Center, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0546
Author: Alan Randell


The author of "Drug laws necessary and logical" would do well to reread the
Declaration of Independence so he can understand that human beings are
endowed with certain inalienable rights (CT, Sept. 29). 

To summarize, people should be left alone by government to engage in "the
pursuit of happiness" unless they harm someone else, not just emotional
pain, but physical harm. 

Punishing people for what they ingest is a gross violation of their right to
ingest any substance, whether or not the nanny state says they are harmful. 

There is no justification for punishing drug users and distributors today
than there was in the past for hanging witches, lynching blacks or gassing

The column says, "Alcohol already causes one fatality every 32 minutes -- do
we really want to take a chance with adding marijuana to the mix?" 

Putting aside for the moment that, as I mentioned before, the state does not
have the right to prevent its citizens from harming themselves, why, then,
does the author not call for alcohol to be prohibited too, so the harm it
does can be reduced? 

Perhaps he recognizes the pitfalls of that approach. 

Most of harm done by illegal drugs is a direct consequence of the fact they
are illegal. 

Thousands of boozers were poisoned by adulterated booze during Prohibition,
and thousands of drug users are being poisoned by adulterated drugs today.
If alcohol were banned, the harm done by black market hooch would be greater
than that done by legal alcohol today. 

The author says, "As long as it (drug prohibition) is the law, it should and
must be enforced." 

Yes, just as the laws supporting slavery and denying the vote to women were

The author must realize it is the civic duty of all citizens to oppose
unjust laws.

Alan Randell, Victoria, Canada
- ---
MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk