Pubdate: Mon, 05 Jun 2000
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2000 The Irish Times
Contact:  11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Fax: + 353 1 671 9407
Author: P. Bowler


Sir, - I am dismayed by the recent spate of heroin-related deaths because,
more than anything else, the deaths have been caused by hypocrisy. We live
in a society where the peddling of death through alcohol and tobacco are
carefully regulated and highly taxed. However, vast sums of money are spent
in this country, as well as in the rest of the world, on trying to eradicate
the drugs trade. Has there been any success? The answer is an emphatic no.
Not even death sentences have succeeded in even denting the volume or
profitability of drug dealing.

In Ireland we are building more and more prison spaces and drug lords have
been targeted. Yet, illegal drugs are still easily available. Isn't it time
to recognise that the market will always demand narcotics? And the mature
response is to tax it, regulate it and so, finally, defeat the drug lords
who will never be beaten by the gardai.
- - Yours, etc.

P. Bowler,
Parnell Street,
Dublin 1.
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