Pubdate: Sat, 21 Apr 2001
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2001 Detroit Free Press
Author: Andrew Grice


I am puzzled by the lack of logic demonstrated in your April 16 "Drug
Strategies" editorial. While I'm thrilled to read that the Free Press
finally recognizes that "fear of getting caught has never been enough to
discourage drug users or the dealers who prey on them," I'm stunned that
you fail to draw the obvious conclusion from this. Because the fear of
criminal penalties does not discourage users or dealers, why have
criminal penalties at all? What good is drug prohibition when, as you
say, it doesn't even discourage use?

The only thing our ill-conceived drug laws have accomplished has been
the inflation of drug prices to astronomical levels. The illegal drug
trade is now one of the biggest industries in the world.

The only solution is to regulate the drug trade. A tightly regulated but
legal drug trade would do something law enforcement could never achieve.
Virtually overnight, illegal drug dealers would be put out of business.
They simply would not be able to compete with a legal source.

Andrew Grice, Madison Heights
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