Pubdate: Sat, 26 Jan 2002
Source: Mobile Register (AL)
Copyright: 2002 Mobile Register.
Author: Robin Ciriello


I would very much like to reply to Mr. Stephen Pasierb's letter in the Jan. 
20 Register, ("Legalization of illicit drugs not the answer").

While I agree that illicit drugs are a great source of profit for "illicit" 
people, some of the facts you communicated are way off. You are right. 
Cocaine use is down. Drug users have switched to the cheaper and more 
powerful crack cocaine and methamphetamine.

Seriously though, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that from 
1984-1999, federal drug offenses more than doubled. The use of illicit 
drugs like methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and new drugs like ecstasy and 
GBH are all on the rise while the use of marijuana has remained constant 
and the use of cocaine has dropped sharply.

As president and CEO of the Partnership for a Drug Free America, Mr. 
Pasierb, you should know this. You should also know that more than half of 
the D.A.R.E. programs in this country have been halted because we are 
losing the battle against drugs so badly. Why fund a program that doesn't work?

In his letter Mr. Pasierb also stated that the overall crime rate was down. 
You are right again. Sort of. According to the Bureau of Justice, the 
National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the National Crime 
Victimization Survey, and the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, crime is down 

However, infanticide, school violence, violence with weapons and workplace 
violence are all up. Remember also that these statistics are based on 
reported crimes only. The results are further deceptive by counting each 
crime only once.

Maybe it is time we found another way. Legalize it and tax it just like we 
do those other nasty, addictive drugs: tobacco and alcohol. Then maybe 
people won't be dyinkilling to get high.

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