Pubdate: Fri, 29 Nov 2002
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Copyright: 2002 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Author: Alan Randell


Re "The New Problem Drugs: Meth," published Nov. 25: So prohibition doesn't 
work. What else is new?

Why do governments prohibit certain drugs? Is it to protect users from harm?

No, that can't be the reason because users suffer more (adulterated drugs 
and jail time) when a drug is banned as compared to when it is legally 
available. My wife and I became well acquainted with this aspect of 
government policy when we lost our 19-year-old son to street heroin in 
1993. The harm argument is moot in any event because two of our more 
dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are legal.

Is it to reduce the crime associated with illegal drugs?

No, that can't be the reason because banning a drug always gives rise to 
more crime (drug cartels, petty crimes by users as prohibition makes drug 
prices much higher, violent disputes between dealers) than when the drug is 
legally available.

Is it a bid to distract attention away from more important issues by 
conducting a brutal, Hitler-like pogrom to ruin the lives of the innocent 
few who ingest or sell certain drugs?


Alan Randell

Victoria, B.C.
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