Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jan 2001
Source: Baltimore Chronicle (MD)
Copyright: 2001, Schenley Press, Inc.
Contact:  30 West 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Author: Marty A. Silvert, Ph.D.



...Mayor Kurt Schmoke was chastised when he suggested that current illegal 
substance[s] be legalized. He was correct. If we learn anything from 
history, it should be that diminishing and controlling human vices are 
indeed very improbable. The Volstadt Act (banning liquor) only created a 
means for criminals to make more money.

The difference is that the majority of persons incarcerated because of the 
illegal drug trade are African-American. This does not upset the white 
power structure as it did with the incarceration of white citizens in the 
1920s and '30s [under Prohibition]. Therefore, the white political leaders 
of our country are not inclined to do what was done before concerning alcohol.

It is time for our politicians to stop with their standard rhetoric. It 
does our society no good to have young men killed on the streets or jailed 
for non-violent, drug-related crimes or have brave police officers murdered 
in the line of duty because of the failure of our leaders to seek a logical 
conclusion to the drug problem.

Maybe our political leaders are the problem with their short-sightedness 
and, perhaps, racist attitudes.
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