Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jun 2000
Source: New York Post (NY)
Copyright: 2000, N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
Author: Dan Sammarco, Gordon Dyer, Charles Williams, Art Rice, Alan Mason, 
Matthew Katz, Peter Webster, Redford Givens, Ray Aldridge, M. Simon, Alan 
Randell, Tony M. Goins
Related: Rice, ;


It never ceases to amaze me how low some government employees will sink in 
order to advance the war on drugs ("Why We Fight," Opinion, June 8).

Lewis Rice admits he is a DEA representative, so he has a vested interest 
in keeping this war going in the name of job security.

His most humorous statement had to be: "Drugs are aggressively supplied and 
marketed by sophisticated international traffickers using techniques worthy 
of Madison Avenue."

Hogwash! Where is this advertising, and how is it getting past our 
all-knowing government?

Dan Sammarco, Huntington Station

The greatest harm from drugs comes from the "drug war."

If it were not for the illegality of drugs, the huge, tax-free profits 
would disappear. Crime and violence would decrease. Junkies would no longer 
be committing burglaries to support their habits.

We are paying a high price to tell others what poisons they may put in 
their bodies.

Gordon Dyer, Palmer, Mass.

Anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of economics would know the 
organizations to which Mr. Lewis refers, including the ultra-violent 
Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, would never have come into existence 
were it not for drug prohibition.

It seems odd that he would decry these organizations while at the same time 
refusing to look critically at the policy that created them.

Charles Williams, Escondido, Calif.

While I applaud the Quixotic efforts of Barry McCaffrey, Lewis Rice and 
others to eradicate drugs in America, Mr. Rice didn't actually explain why 
this war is needed.

Thanks to his article, I learned that despite the billions spent on the 
drug war, drugs are now cheaper, sold in higher concentration and are 
easier and safer to take.

Art Rice, Melville

It is obvious that after 25 years of making his living from the drug war 
(just as surely as the drug dealers do), Mr. Rice has never considered the 
possibility that it is the tireless efforts of he and his fellow agents 
that have made drugs so profitable and spurred the dealers on in their 
development of more "sophisticated marketing techniques."

The lesson here should be obvious. If we truly want to control drugs, we 
need to legalize and regulate their use and bring their distributors within 
the bounds of the legal system.

Alan Mason, Aguanga, Calif.

Drug users, like alcoholics, do what they do because they want to. Like 
alcoholics, most feel they have a right, no matter what the government 
says, to do just that.

It's difficult to convince them that, without having committed a crime 
against another person's body or property, they need to be locked in a cage 
just because professional narcotics officers like Mr. Rice feel that that's 

Matthew Katz, New Haven, Conn.

Without drug prohibition, it is doubtful that crack would ever have been 
invented, much less found a home in the ghettos of American cities.

A better way to prevent drug abuse would be to fight poverty, not drugs.

Peter Webster, Auvare, France

Lewis Rice fails to answer the most basic questions in his inane defense of 
a failed drug-prohibition policy.

How can any sane person believe that a drug ban can possibly work after 
seeing the catastrophic results of an utterly failed alcohol prohibition 
scheme in the 1920s and '30s?

What Agent Rice argues for is a futile "forever war" that insures permanent 
full employment for drug warriors.

What other reason can there be for wasting billions of dollars on an 
utterly futile drug prohibition policy that has never worked for anything, 
anywhere, anytime?

Repeal and regulation ended the reign of the bootleggers and stopped the 
bloodshed over alcohol distribution. Repeal and regulation will do the same 
for our failed drug-prohibition policies.

Redford Givens, San Francisco, Calif.

As Agent Lewis Rice points out again and again, the history of the drug war 
is a series of ever more virulent outbreaks of drug abuse.

His way hasn't worked at all, even though he's been trying for decades.

Let's try another way.

Ray Aldridge, Walton Beach, Fla.

The drug war is financing drug-trafficking organizations. Of course, 
someone from the government is too dumb to figure that out.

We don't need a drug war. What we need is a program to find out why 
government service makes people stupid.

M. Simon, Rockford, Ill.

The reason why DEA special agent Lewis Rice continues stubbornly to 
participate in the unwinnable war on drugs is that his career depends on it.

Look for him to pen another of those tiresome "I was wrong" articles after 
his retirement.

Alan Randell, Victoria, Canada

I have a simple question for DEA Agent Lewis Rice: How long will it take to 
make America "drug-free" and how much will it cost?

Tony M. Goins, Oklahoma City, Okla.
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