Pubdate: Fri, 08 Mar 2002
Source: Florence Times Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 Times Daily
Author: Ari Elias-Bachrach


To the Editor:

March 8, 2002

Frank Powell (Letters, March 2), mocks the idea of lowering crime by 
decriminalizing drug use. As he points out, decriminalization of any 
currently illegal activity would lower crime due to the simple fact there 
would be one less crime people are committing. However, this is not the 
point of Redford Given's letter.

There is much money being made in the drug trade -- this is why gangs and 
organized crime fight to control distribution. Barely a day goes by when 
someone isn't killed in a shoot-out that stemmed from a drug-related turf 
war. Decriminalization or outright legalization would take the money out of 
the drug trade, making it unprofitable for organized crime, and safer for 
the rest of us.

Many people have pointed out that users do commit crimes, most often theft, 
to support their habits. This happens because drug prices are kept 
artificially high due to the black market. Eliminating the black market 
would drop the prices, making it unnecessary for people to steal to support 

Our policies are increasing crime, and changing them is the surest way to 
lower crime.

Ari Elias-Bachrach

President Washington University Students for Sensible Drug Policy St. 
Louis, Mo.
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