Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jan 2002
Source: Dispatch, The (NC)
Copyright: 2002, The Lexington Dispatch
Author: Dave Michon


Editor: I disagree with Pastor Moore's contention in the Jan. 15 Dispatch 
that we cannot scrap the drug war and substitute regulation because of 
economics. Moore claims "it is estimated" that drug users can only work one 
or two years while drinkers can work 20 to 25 years and, therefore, drugs 
must stay illegal.

While I would like to know who Moore says estimated this, I must
maintain that it is not true. Dr. Sherman Halsted, for instance, one
of four founders of Johns-Hopkins Medical Center, was a morphine
addict until his death in his 80s and he was performing skilled
surgery up to that time.

The famous addict-author of "Junky," William S. Burroughs, lived into
his 80s. There are many other famous examples, but a check with any
pharmacologist will show that there is no reason a person cannot live
a full life if provided with a supply of pharmaceutical compound. But
there's the rub: Drug prohibition forces the addicts to use
adulterated drugs and this is what kills them in the same way that
bathtub gin or methyl "wood" alcohol killed and blinded drinkers in
the 1920s.

Pastor, sensible people know it is not physically or economically
sound to take drugs. Lately, however; increasing numbers of smart,
God-fearing people are realizing that we can save more lives through
regulation than through prohibition. We have seen 90 years of
prohibition failure turn the entire world into a vast narcotics bazaar.

We cannot eliminate the harms of drug use but we can put the
government in true control of it by providing cheap clean drugs to
addicts and legalizing all vegetative drugs not further refined.

Drug addicts and users are imprisoned and maligned in this country in
a way which the Christ I know would never sanction. In fact, he calls
us forth to fight against this repression.

Dave Michon

Eau Claire, Wis.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake