Pubdate: Wed, 30 May 2001
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Houston Chronicle
Author:  Dean Becker


In Houston during recent weeks, two men suspected of peddling drugs were 
killed and another was wounded over 45 pounds of low-grade marijuana. In a 
world where it was legal, this amount of pot would have very little value 
and there would be no reason for these deaths or for the three children to 
be left without fathers. Last week, two policemen were killed and another 
critically injured by gunfire over drugs. During the same week, a sheriff's 
deputy was shot by a man who, because of his prior scrapes with the law, 
would have earned a mandatory sentence. Another two children left 
fatherless. Another Houston police officer was shot last week and his 
partner is in intensive care from a gunshot wound by a drug dealer who 
wanted to escape incarceration.

Even though the suspects in these shootings have all been arrested and will 
likely receive the death penalty, the city of Houston will be without the 
services of these outstanding officers and several young children will be 
forever without the fathers they loved.

All of these incidents have a common thread -- prohibition -- and are due 
to our draconian drug laws. For the sake of our society and for the sake of 
our children, it is time to end the drug war.

Dean Becker, community liaison, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Houston
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