Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jul 2001
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2001, The Tribune Co.
Author:   Paul Miller, Woodbridge, Va.


Oh my. Drug warrior James R. McDonough caused me to spit my morning 
coffee (Letters, July 22).

He actually has tried to present an argument in which drug treatment 
removes personal responsibility from the equation. Personal 
responsibility? The drug war rationale has come down to that?

I suppose that development makes sense, seeing as it's no more 
ridiculous than any other rationale provided for the expensive, 
wasteful and counterproductive drug war. But personal responsibility? 
Am I the only one who sees the contradiction here?

Prior to our drug laws, our society did rely on personal 
responsibility. Individuals decided for themselves whether they would 
use these substances or not. The usage rate was far less than what we 
have today because the drug warriors have created a profit incentive 
for organized crime, and organized crime has proved far more capable 
of marketing its wares than law enforcement has proved in its ability 
to stop it. The end result of all this is an unprecedented expansion 
of organized crime, with children fronting as the retail end in every 
high school and junior high school in the nation.

As a parent of a 3-year-old, I have to say that I see the drug war as 
the biggest single threat to my child. Take away the drug war (yes, 
actually relegalize the use of these substances) and we take away the 
profit motive from organized crime.

Then the only people who will be looking at my son as a potential 
employee in future years will be the local newspaper circulation 
office and neighbors who need their yard mowed. Plus, legalization 
will allow us to impose an enforceable age restriction on the sale of 
these substances.

Mr. McDonough, please stay away from my son.
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