Pubdate: Wed, 21 Aug 2002
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 2002 The Oregonian
Author: Kirk Muse, Kendall Auel, And Joe Dudman


Letter writers Jeff Jarvis and Tracy Johnson were right on the money in 
their outstanding letter, "Millions up in smoke" (Aug. 16), about the 
millions upon millions of dollars wasted prosecuting marijuana users who 
harm nobody, except possibly themselves.

Speaking of millions upon millions of dollars wasted, in 1969 the federal 
drug enforcement budget was $65 million. This year it's $19.2 billion. 
That's greater than a 295-fold increase.

The net result: Anybody who wants drugs can still get them.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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Drug War Not Worth The Cost I Admit

I was stunned to see two "suit-wearing, Republican" letter writers confess 
publicly to being pot smokers ("Millions up in smoke," Aug. 16). I'm a 
shorts and T-shirt Democrat and I don't smoke pot, but I am in total 
agreement with their sentiment.

Our government wastes millions of dollars every year in a losing battle 
against marijuana use. This drug war is bringing crime and sometimes 
violence into our community, the way alcohol prohibition did 80 years ago.

Perhaps it is only a coincidence that the rate of government spending in 
Oregon has increased faster than the rate of population growth, starting 
just about the time the "war on drugs" began.

Kendall Auel

Lake Oswego
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Drug Users Selfish, Hedonistic

Jeff Jarvis and Tracy Johnson's pro-drugs letter ("Millions up in smoke," 
Aug. 16) is incredibly self-centered. "Responsible pot smokers"? I'm still 
laughing at that oxymoron.

It's selfish, hedonistic drug users themselves who create the demand, waste 
public resources and fill the courts and jails. Instead of blaming 
everybody but themselves for this drain on society, Jarvis, Johnson and 
those like them should simply stop using drugs, and the social and monetary 
costs they claim to deplore would be greatly reduced.

Joe Dudman

Southeast Portland
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