Pubdate: Mon, 03 Sep 2001
Source: Time Magazine (US)
Issue:  September 10, 2001 Vol. 158 No. 10
Address: Time Magazine Letters, Time & Life Bldg., Rockefeller Center, NY, 
NY 10020
Contact:  2001 Time Inc
Fax: (212) 522-8949
Authors: Richard Weil, Todd Shikora, Name Withheld On Request, Donald H. 
Rudick, M.D.


America's "War On Drugs" has cost untold billions, made a mockery of the 
Bill of Rights and been a total failure. Congratulations to those European 
governments that have dropped this bankrupt policy [WORLD, Aug. 20]. The 
only ones who ever benefited were the police, the prison industry and drug 

Richard Weil
St. Paul, Minn.

The U.S. ought to take a page from the book of countries like Belgium, the 
Netherlands and Portugal (and a puff or two wouldn't hurt either) and 
decriminalize marijuana. Our local, state and federal authorities need to 
focus more time and money on the real criminals, not on busting a guy for 
possessing a tiny amount of "happy smoke."

Todd Shikora
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Your article about Europeans' legalizing or decriminalizing small amounts 
of marijuana does a terrible injustice to the thousands of American parents 
who are waging a small war with their children about drug use and abuse. 
Marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to the abuse of other drugs. I 
should know, since all four of my children started using marijuana and have 
progressed over the years to more powerful drugs.

Name Withheld On Request
Volant, Pa.

Although drug use is perhaps morally reprehensible, it should be legalized. 
Making drug possession criminal is a hydra, begetting yet more crime. 
Through legalization, huge savings can be realized from crime reduction. 
Revenues gleaned from taxing legal profits can be used for antidrug 
research, and standardized products will reduce drug deaths. Governments 
formerly beneath the heel of drug cartels can once again begin to function 
for their own constituents.

Donald H. Rudick, M.D.
St. Marys, Pa.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth