Pubdate: Sat, 19 Oct 2002
Source: Times, The (LA)
Copyright: 2002 The Times
Author: Karl Burkhalter


Why are we having an increase in drug-related violence? Drug shortages 
always lead to violence. Benjamin H. Renshaw III the Drug Enforcement 
Administration's own statistician discovered this in 1994 and said, 
"statistically you can't demonstrate that drug abuse causes crime. The drug 
trade, drug prohibition sure, but not drug abuse."

Shreveport's own Dr. Willis Pollard Butler, a physician and coroner for 
more than 50 years, tried to explain the direct correlation between drug 
enforcement and crime to federal drug enforcement officials in the 1920s, 
but in that era of prohibitionist frenzy his argument fell on deaf ears. He 
said drug prohibitionists were either "misguided, misinformed or 
disingenuous, but clearly counterproductive." Europeans follow Butler's 
methods and have a much lower crime rate than do we. The hard core drug 
warriors are as unreachable as are religious fanatics and about as 
dangerous. They have used censorship and propaganda to continue the failed 
policy of the drug war for decades. We are fighting a war right now in 
Columbia and losing. We have more black men in prison than in college and 
the highest incarceration rate in the world, yet Attorney General John 
Ashcroft is fighting state drug reform laws in in the west.

We need to let doctors handle drug problems; they are trained for it. But 
we have not had a medically trained drug czar in 25 years. Ever wonder why 
the Europeans question our policies?

Karl Burkhalter, Haughton
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager