Pubdate: Wed,  4 Sep 2002
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Contact:  2002 West Hawaii Today
Author: Robert Sharpe,
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Note: For more on ice eradication in Hawaii go to



The $4 million Drug Enforcement Administration head Asa Hutchinson has
pledged to the isle's anti-ice campaign is tantamount to a taxpayer-funded
price support for organized crime. Attempts to limit the supply of illegal
drugs while demand remains constant only increase the profitability of drug

In terms of addictive drugs like meth, a spike in street prices leads
desperate addicts to increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits.
The drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime. 

With alcohol prohibition repealed, liquor bootleggers no longer gun each
other down in drive-by shootings, nor do consumers go blind drinking
unregulated bathtub gin. While U.S. politicians ignore the historical
precedent, European countries are embracing harm reduction, a public health
alternative based on the principle that both drug abuse and drug prohibition
have the potential to cause harm. 

Examples of harm reduction include needle exchange programs to stop the
spread of HIV among intravenous drug users, marijuana regulation aimed at
separating the hard and soft drug markets, and treatment alternatives that
do not require incarceration as a prerequisite. 

Unfortunately, fear of appearing "soft on crime" compels many U.S.
politicians to support a failed drug war that ultimately subsidizes
organized crime.

Robert Sharpe 

Drug Policy Alliance 

Arlington, Va.
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