Pubdate: Fri, 18 Oct 2002
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2002 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: David Lane


You conclude that because a new study has shown ecstasy to have long- term 
side effects it supports the position that drugs should not be legalized in 
a regulated market. You are buying the unproven assumption that if 
something is legal its use will increase. But when alcohol was prohibited 
in the U.S., the use of alcohol among teenagers increased dramatically; 
some reports indicate a tenfold increase during this period. Alcohol 
prohibition was repealed "to save the children from prohibition."

Violent crime dropped significantly following the passage of the 21st 
Amendment ending Prohibition. Today American children report that it is 
easier for them to buy illegal drugs than beer or cigarettes. In Holland, 
where cannabis can be purchased semi-legally, the percentage of teens who 
use it is significantly lower than it is in the U.S.

David Lane

Santa Cruz, Calif.
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