Pubdate: Wed, 18 Apr 2001
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2001 Cox Interactive Media.
Author: Michael Honohan


A recent letter from a deputy police chief described how communities live 
in fear over addicts and drug dealers, but these problems for the most part 
are not the result of drug-use, but instead are a direct result of the war 
on drugs ("Drugs are scourge, must be fought," April 13).

Because it is legal, alcohol hasn't created a crime wave. Liquor stores 
don't have shoot-outs. The gunfire in the neighborhoods is the result of an 
unregulated underground economy. The addicts steal because, like prices of 
any black-market items, drug prices are artificially exorbitant. If drugs 
were legal and regulated, drug dealers would not plague our streets. The 
price of drugs could be so low that addicts would be harmless panhandlers 
like winos.

The police could focus on real crime, not crime artificially created by 
misguided laws. Seems that the police would not want that, especially in 
light of how much money is made by corrupt cops shaking down, protecting or 
working for drug dealers.


Honohan is a computer programmer living in Marietta.
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