Pubdate: Wed, 16 Oct 2002
Source: Fayetteville Observer-Times (NC)
Copyright: 2002 Fayetteville Observer-Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


The fact that a Lumberton investigator had to resort to making a false 
statement in order to obtain a search warrant is not surprising ("Drug-deal 
charges dropped" on Oct. 3). Because illicit drug transactions are 
consensual, buyers and sellers go to great lengths to keep their 
transactions secret. It's not possible to wage a moralistic war against 
consensual vices unless privacy is completely eliminated, along with the 

The drug war threatens the integrity of a country founded on the concept of 
limited government. The blind pursuit of a "drug-free" America has led to a 
steady rise in police searches on public transit, drug-sniffing dogs in 
schools, and random drug testing. The land of the free now has the highest 
incarceration rate in the world, in large part due to the war on some drugs.

Drug policy should focus not on reducing the number of people who use 
drugs, but rather on reducing the death, disease, crime and suffering 
associated with both drug use and drug prohibition. The tough-on-drugs 
approach does more harm than good.

Eliminating the stigma and penalties associated with illicit drug abuse 
would encourage the type of honest discussion necessary to facilitate 
rehabilitation and save lives.

Robert Sharpe, Program officer

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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