Pubdate: Fri, 14 Jun 2002
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2002 Tahoe Daily Tribune
Author: Matthew Baker
Note: Article is letter to syndicated columnist Bill O'Reilly whose column 
appears in this paper on Mondays.


To Mr. O'Reilly

As we all know, the movement toward drug law reform has been taking shape 
with increasing speed.

It will succeed, hopefully sooner than later. That is why I'm writing you.

Your positions on the subject of substance use has become increasingly more 
desperate, counterproductive, and serve as a general disservice to your 

You know there are options between legalization and prohibition. Any of 
these options would work better than our current system of zero tolerance 
prohibition, the system you support, the system that creates the crime, 
corruption and general disorder you claim to be against.

In your column, "Crimes Against Humanity" you mention that the people who 
are punished under the Rockefeller Drug Law are the "dregs of the earth". 
In many cases this is true. They also tend to be violent, illiterate thugs. 
Why you would voluntarily give them control over this type of business?

You stated "If nobody sold drugs, there would be no drug problem." Yes, and 
if nobody sold cars there would be no car fatalities. You cannot wish these 
substances away. You ignore the demand side, ignore human nature.

The couple who committed suicide, the couple you claim to care about, might 
still be alive today if not for the punitive, inhumane policies you 
support. I suggest your hands are as bloody as the dealer.

If you continue to support these policies, I would expect you to make 
yourself available to members of the reform movement, where you can defend 
your position in more detail. It must be located somewhere neutral, of 
course. No shouting down. No stacked decks.

As you like to say, "Anything else would be ridiculous."

Matthew Baker

Conifer, Colorado
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