Pubdate: Tue, 11 Jun 2002
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Redford Givens
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


This is in response to the recent story headlined, "Officials: Meth problem 
must be solved locally."

Since Kentucky's methamphetamine problem is a direct offshoot of America's 
failed drug crusade, it's hard to see how local action can solve a national 
policy failure. When Federal drug warriors began classing localities as 
"high-intensity drug-trafficking areas"  in 1990, only seven states, 
including 21 percent of the U.S.  land area and 36 percent of its 
population, were federally declared HIDTAs. Now, 40 of the 50 states, 
encompassing two-thirds of the country's land surface and 90 percent of 
the  American population,  have been designated HIDTAs.

None of this is new. Every campaign against a drug has resulted in 
increased use of the substance under attack. For example, when the 
government began  its "Reefer Madness" fight against marijuana, fewer than 
100,000 people used cannabis (according to a U.S, Treasury Department 
source). Now the government estimates that 76 million citizens have tried 
marijuana and 21 percent of the population use the drug on a regular basis. 
More than 50 percent of high school students admit to smoking marijuana.

There's no doubt about the results of drug war activities. Meth labs are 
springing up like daisies all over the map because of the free drug warrior 
advertising. Hysterical drug war propaganda acts as a lure for people to 
try a new drug making drug "education" extremely counterproductive.

The utter failure of drug prohibition is clearly seen by the fact that 
heroin and cocaine are purer, cheaper and more widely available  than when 
President Nixon declared "all out war on drugs" 30 years ago.

Redford Givens

San Francisco
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