Pubdate: Mon, 02 Sep 2002
Source: The Monitor (TX)
Copyright: 2002 The Monitor
Author: Kevin Hertz and Dean Becker


To the editor:

Mr. Cagle's and Ms. Cowgill's arguments against decriminalization ("Stupid 
to back legalization," Aug. 15; "Monitor wrong on legalization," Aug. 18) 
are wrong.

Cagle argues that we are losing the war on murder! As a cop, he knows 
murder rates are dropping. I bet 10,000 times more money is being spent on 
drug interdiction than murder reduction. Are people volunteering to be 

He argues the experience of other countries is invalid because their 
results have been "doctored." I find it hilarious that he is alleging a 
massive conspiracy without evidence.

He points to the 25 percent of kids who go to school in British Columbia 
"stoned." Why look at the extreme? What is the average rate, and how would 
decriminalization increase this? Evidence shows we currently have about the 
same percentage of addicts as we did before "mind-altering drugs" were banned.

He points to "50 million alcoholics." I would love to see his source. 
People with experience in drug and alcoholic treatment know alcohol can be 
just as dangerous as any illicit drug.

Cowgill argues that drug dealers would benefit from decriminalization. This 
is a joke. They would be out of business.

He should read the history of Prohibition. Sociology documents that in 
cultures where alcohol is more available and approved, the lower the rate 
of alcohol-related problems appears to be. Why not other drugs?

A review of the McAllen P.D. and alcohol abuse is abundant. So booze is OK, 
but pot isn't?

What would police do if drugs were decriminalized and controlled? Forfeited 
property of alleged druggies buys the "toys" for the police department. 
Think of the resources freed up. They would have to get back to real work, 
instead of playing "Shaft." Would we get back our lost rights?

No one is forcing drugs on anyone.

Kevin Hertz

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Drug Laws Bypass Constitution

To the editor:

Police Officer Byron D. Cagle on Aug. 15 proclaimed it is "Stupid to back 
legalization." Officer Cagle directly compares drug use to murder, claims 
the success statistics of decriminalization in other countries are doctored 
and warns that decriminalization will mean a cost-free kilo of cocaine in 
every school cafeteria. Cagle even wonders if The Monitor's editorial staff 
is doing lines of cocaine during board meetings.

In response, I can only say that Cagle has not referenced any scientific 
studies or drawn information from any recognized data bank, but has rather 
reached back into the century-old cesspool of drug war lies to bring forth 
a regurgitation of fact that would make Harry Anslinger proud. (Anslinger 
was the mastermind of Reefer Madness and our first drug czar in the 1930s.)

Cops are enamored with the power to bypass the safeguards of the 
Constitution that the drug laws afford them. Drug use, drug abuse and 
addiction are questions not for law enforcement but rather for the medical 
community to address. We already squander $50 billion per year on this drug 
war; so asking Cagle or any cop for advice on drug laws is like asking your 
barber if you need a haircut.

Dean Becker

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