Pubdate: Tue, 12 Feb 2002
Source: Pantagraph, The  (IL)
Copyright: 2002 The Pantagraph
Author: Peter Guither


I never thought I'd be buying an ad on the Super Bowl, but it happened this 
year, though not by choice.

Taxpayers, during a time of budget deficits, paid over $3 million for a 
couple of Office of National Drug Control Policy ads equating drug 
purchases with financing terrorism.

What was the purpose of this expense?  Reduction of drug use? Unlikely.

It seemed to be a political effort to bolster support for failed drug war 
policies -- ironically the same policies that actually make the drug trade 
profitable for terrorists.

Is there any logic in our current drug policy efforts?

While the FBI was testifying in Congress a few months ago that they hadn't 
gotten around to finding out how many labs in the U.S. had anthrax, 30 
federal agents were busy harassing sick people in California who, with the 
approval of the city and the state, were using marijuana to relieve pain.

Now the Office of Management and Budget reports that federal agencies have 
been double-reporting drug-seizure numbers in order to boost their funding.

We send millions of dollars overseas to spray chemicals which are banned in 
the U.S., destroying the lives of poor farmers and simply moving drug 
production down the road to a new location.

Can we afford to continue to spend billions each year on failed federal 
drug policies without results?

It's time to stop giving the government a blank check, and openly examine 
some new approaches.

Peter Guither, Bloomington
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