Pubdate: Wed, 06 Dec 2000
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2000 Amarillo Globe-News
Contact:  P.O. Box 2091, Amarillo, TX 79166
Fax: (806) 373-0810
Author: Ray Aldridge


In your Nov. 28 editorial, "Drug debate put into action," you wrote
that "The elements of responsibility and accountability must be
realized regarding illegal drug use, which is a primary reason the
criminal nature of such illegal activities must be

Duh! Yeah, sure, the use of illegal drugs is criminal because -- golly, gee
- -- using illegal drugs is a crime. But the inevitable corollary to this
blinding insight is that if these drugs were not illegal, then using them
would not be a crime.

You finish by saying, "The unavailability of treatment is not a preferable
option, but neither is the removal of responsibility and the accompanying
consequences under law."

How would legalizing these politically incorrect substances result in "the
removal of responsibility"? With the legal drug alcohol, those who drink
are still responsible for their actions. If a drinker gets drunk and
drives, he ought to be arrested, and many are.

It should be no different with other drugs.

We've made impressive reductions in the amount of social harm caused by
legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco -- a degree of success we have never
achieved by outlawing other drugs.

It's time to try a different and more rational approach, and stop trying to
arrest our way out of the drug problem.

Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
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