Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jun 2002
Source: Clarksdale Press Register (MS)
Copyright: 2002, Clarksdale Press Register
Author: Redford Givens

Dear Editor:

It's worth noting that the corruption that ended Clarksdale Police Sgt. 
James Tompkins' law-enforcement career with a possible prison term was 
"drug-related." If it were not for America's insane drug laws, crooked cops 
like Tompkins wouldn't be able to blackmail and steal from innocent people.

Things are rapidly approaching the state of affairs when Al Capone bragged 
that "half of the cops in Chicago are on my payroll." Only nowadays the 
cops go into the drug business for themselves using their badges to rob, 
intimidate and prosecute competitors. In the last five years, cases of 
police corruption have jumped 800 percent, and virtually every case 
involves illegal drugs.

Our drug laws offer a level of temptation that few can resist when 
confronted with the opportunity to pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars 
in a few minutes with no complaints from the drug dealers being robbed.

It's worth remembering that alcohol prohibition produced such an incredible 
level of corruption that the handful of prohibition agents that didn't take 
bribes became celebrities known as the "Untouchables." It's also worth 
remembering that Eliot Ness and the revenuers never put the booze barons 
out of business. Repeal and a regulated market for adult alcohol use ended 
the bootleg era.

Regulation works for alcohol, and regulation will work for drugs. 
Prohibition, on the other hand, has never worked for anything, anywhere, 

Redford Givens,

San Francisco
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