Pubdate: Fri, 22 Feb 2002
Source: Press & Journal (UK)
Copyright: 2002: Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd.
Author: Alan Randell


SIR, - Why are certain drugs prohibited? Is it to protect users from harm? 
That can't be it, because users suffer more (adulterated drugs and jail 
time) when a drug is banned compared to when it is available legally.

Is it to reduce the crime associated with illegal drugs? It can't be that, 
either, because banning a drug always gives rise to more crime (drug 
cartels, petty thefts, violent disputes between dealers) than when the drug 
is available legally.

Is it to reduce the harm to users by reducing consumption? It can't be 
that, because the most dangerous drugs of all, alcohol and tobacco, are legal.

Is it to distract our attention from more important issues (and to provide 
bigger budgets for police officers) by ruining the lives of the innocent 
few who ingest or sell certain drugs?


Hitler's armies might have lost the war but, sadly, his ideas seem to have 
found acceptance throughout the "civilised" world.

Alan Randell, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
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