Pubdate: Thu, 30 Aug 2001
Source: Colorado Springs Independent Newsweekly (CO)
Copyright: 2001 Colorado Springs Independent
Author: Mike Plylar


To the Editor:

Tom Barrus was absolutely right in his fine letter, "Politicians
answer to drug lords of alcohol and tobacco" (Aug. 23). Maybe it's
time we relied on the facts provided by our people who have actually
trained in pharmacology, instead of pork-barrel politicians and self-
proclaimed "drug-abuse professionals" whose only qualifications are
catchy acronyms and an unquenchable penchant for taxpayers' assets.

The reason a logical, measured drug policy eludes us is we discuss all
illicit substances as though they were equals. A growing majority of
the world's citizens realize that this is not only untrue, but it
restricts our ability to control even the most harmful concoctions.
The drug warriors tell us apples are oranges, right is left, and up is
down, and we quietly accept it, because, after all, it's for the
children. Anything besides this out-and-out assault on the U.S.
Constitution, disguised as a drug war, is "legalization." Pure rubbish.

If the statistics are to be believed, the Dutch model is far and away
the most realistic and effectual, and least harmful drug policy
currently implemented by any nation in the free world. The people of
the Netherlands have concluded, and rightfully so, that marijuana is
not heroin and heroin is not cocaine. Not exactly rocket science. Each
substance is completely different and each requires regulation, as
varied as the substances themselves, based on their actual harm to

One thing is abundantly clear. Remove marijuana from the mix of
illegal substances, allow the funding generated from its taxed,
controlled and regulated sale to be directed at prevention, education
and treatment for the most dangerous products and the drug "problem"
transforms from a raging tiger, to a malevolent alley cat.

Mike Plylar,
Kremmling, Colo. 
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