Pubdate: Sat, 21 Jul 2001
Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph (WV)
Copyright: 2001 Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Author: Chris Wright


Re: "Christians Must Join Fight Against Drug Addiction," Wednesday, July 
18: Letter to the editor writer Beulah Shortridge called on Christians to 
"band together and continue to petition God for direction in this matter." 
Ms. Shortridge also said, "Those who deal in drugs and supply this 'living 
death' to our people must be stopped!" Fighting addiction is different than 
stopping people who deal in drugs. Alcohol prohibition did nothing to fight 
addiction, just as narcotics prohibition has failed to prevent addicts from 
becoming addicted. However, if we band together and target all the money 
raised in taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and regulated narcotics, perhaps we 
can allow the addicts to pay for their own treatment. With the money raised 
for the purpose of reducing the harm these drugs cause and by urging the 
public, based on legitimate health risks, rather than scare tactics, to 
refrain from self destructive behavior we can maximize public safety.

The liquor store owner should not be stopped, drug dealing under 
prohibition can't be stopped, but, prohibition can be stopped. Instead of 
criminal regulation, the most destructive of all, why not have public 
regulation as we now have for liquor and tobacco.

Those who believe in the Judeo-Christian ethic "Love thy neighbor as 
thyself" would never believe that prohibition was loving if it subsidized 
criminals, destroyed public safety, created gangsterism, fostered racism, 
undermined the bill of rights, overcrowded the prisons, and overburdened 
the courts.

Besides, if you can't keep drugs out of prison, how are you going to keep 
it off the street corner without a tyranny more oppressive than prison 
itself? Prohibition isn't about love, Christianity, or public safety. It's 
about hate.

Chris Wright

Minneapolis, Minn.
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