Pubdate: Wed, 07 Feb 2001
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2001 The Seattle Times Company
Contact:  P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA   98111
Fax: (206) 382-6760


Editor, The Times:

I want to thank Mindy Cameron for her column "California mood swings that 
are altering the drug war" (Times, Feb. 4). Yes, it is time to completely 
end the war on drugs.

Both President Clinton and President Bush used drugs. Would they have been 
better off if they had done prison time for their drug use? Also, more 
people die every year from alcohol use than die from all the illegal drugs 
combined. The irony is sickening.

Over half our prison population is made up of people found guilty of drug 
crimes, while real criminals are released early. Making drugs illegal has 
spawned most of the street violence, as dealers fight over drug profits. 
Police waste their time fighting the drug war while real criminals run 
free. The drug war has been a complete and utter failure, and it is time to 
put a stop to it and legalize drugs.

Recreational drug users who are not hurting anyone are not criminals. The 
10 percent of the population who are addicts will be better served if they 
are treated as addicts, not criminals. Legalizing drugs will reduce 
violence, save lives, help curb police corruption, open up room in our 
prisons for real criminals, and restore many of our rights that have been 
taken as a result of the war on drugs.

It is time to end the war on drugs, which is really a war against our 
brothers and sisters, our moms and dads, our friends and co-workers.

Bill Healy, Seattle
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