Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jun 2002
Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
Copyright: 2002, Denver Publishing Co.
Author: Betsy Shaffer


Richard Stacy ("War on Drugs should not be abandoned," Speakout, June 3) 
does give one pause. If the drug war represents the best effort of seven 
presidents and Congresses, I'd hate to see their worst.

Prohibition did not stop alcohol abuse but it did force adults who chose to 
drink into the criminal underground. Judge John Kane ("America in a fix," 
April 27) is not suggesting blanket legalization of every substance; he is 
suggesting decriminalization as a sane alternative to current drug policy, 
which has not only failed but failed miserably.

Thirty years of black-market terrorism, increasing property crimes, prisons 
so crowded with nonviolent offenders that rapists get early release to make 
room for them, and the disintegration of family structure due to 
incarceration and untreated addictions are a direct result of prohibition 
and its resultant criminal stigma.

Stacy's argument is slippery-slope hogwash and an insult to reasonable 
people. Can we afford to give him and his ilk 30 more years to "prove" they 
failed? Kane suggests that we have the courage to face this failure and 
formulate a new policy which is honest, reasonable and, above all, humane.

Betsy Shaffer

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