Pubdate: Mon, 02 Sep 2002
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2002 El Paso Times
Author: Mike Wiley


After reading the recent opinion column on the tragedy of teenage drug 
"mules," I could only shake my head in wonder. The editorial's solution to 
the problem is to do what we already do, only do more of it.

It seems that the editorial staff has been infected by government logic 
(see "oxymoron.") Recent Justice Department statistics show that the U.S. 
now incarcerates 2 million people, and more than 6 million are under 
judicial supervision. That means we lead the world in the per capita rate 
of imprisonment, and that includes all those dictatorships and communist 
countries we like to chide for human- rights abuses.

Nixon declared the war on drugs, and what are the results? Prisons bursting 
at the seams and drugs that are as easy to purchase as ever. Every study 
done shows that education and treatment (the way we handle legal drugs like 
alcohol and tobacco) are seven times more cost- effective than incarceration.

Mike Wiley

Marshall, Texas
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