Pubdate: Tue, 24 Jul 2001
Source: Texarkana Gazette (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Texarkana Gazette
Author: R. C. Horton


To the Editor:

In the July 19 Texarkana Gazette a column by Russell McDermott on the 
drug war really hit the nail on the head. His idea really makes sense 
because if a person really wants something bad enough he/she will 
find a way to get it.

In the war on drugs a lot of money is spent on first detection, then 
on prosecution, then on incarceration, then on an attempt at 
rehabilitation. Why not use some of that money as McDermott suggested 
to furnish the drug addicts with the drugs at no expense and keep 
them from the dangerous things they do to obtain them as they do now.

When I was young (I'm 81 now) drugs were available at the corner drug 
store and you could buy paregoric over the counter. Almost all 
parents kept a small bottle in the house to help their small children 
through teething and colic. We knew the dangers and were careful not 
to overdo this method. These same babies, including myself, grew up 
to serve in the service of their country in World War II and Korea. 
In my 10 years in the service I never even heard it mentioned.

I realize that many well-meaning people will say that this would 
increase the use of drugs, however McDermott gave the answer to that. 
He suggested that such as school field classes might visit the 
distribution places to let the students see how addicts really are. 
This should discourage the glamour of drugs. These same people might 
also say that drug addicts are dangerous and they are in the present 
circumstances. With the availability of free drugs the need to 
provide would be eliminated, thus reducing the need for crime.

I'll assure you that I am not an addict and seldom take even an 
aspirin. My thoughts are like McDermott's, save the cost of enforcing 
an almost impossible law and pass on the savings to the taxpayers who 
pay for this problem.

R. C. Horton

Texarkana, Texas
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