Pubdate: Tue, 24 Apr 2001
Source: Frederick News Post (MD)
Copyright: 2001 Great Southern Printing and Manufacturing Company
Author: John Prue


This is in response to Victoria Parker's March 20 letter to the editor, (" 
'Pot not that bad' writer mistaken"). The phrase used by the Drug Policy 
Foundation (an anti-drug-war organization based in Washington) that drugs 
are bad, but the drug war is worse, hits the nail right on the head, and is 
an appropriate reply to Ms. Parker.

I don't think that anyone would argue that, under normal circumstances, pot 
use is not very good for one's health  probably akin to the danger of 
drinking coffee. Certainly, cigarette smoking is far more dangerous. ... 
Most Americans know this from first-hand experience. But no law will keep 
all people from personal folly, and it is a fool's chore to even try.

The real problem is not pot's use or its personal deleterious effects, but 
the black market in pot and all drugs. This black market creates a vast 
bankroll for vicious and dangerous thugs that threaten everyone including 
non-users. Not only that, it has criminalized a vast number of otherwise 
law-abiding people.

Even those guilty of youthful indiscretions, such as our former and current 
presidents, can have their lives forever tainted by a single drug arrest. 
At its worse it can tear otherwise functioning families apart. These are 
the biggest social ills related to drugs today.

What we need is to get control over pot and all drugs, as we have with 
other substances like cigarettes and alcohol. This means legalization, 
regulation and restriction. Once we have done this the criminal elements 
will dry up, and we can start the real work of helping those people who 
need and want help with drug addiction.

Countries around the world like Sweden, Australia and England are all 
starting to come to this conclusion, and they are right. The time to end 
the war on drugs is now.


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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens