Pubdate: Thu, 14 Mar 2002
Source: Times Daily (AL)
Address: 219 W. Tennessee St., Florence, AL 35630
Contact:  2002 Times Daily
Author: Peter Christopher


To the Editor:

March 14, 2002

I wonder if Shelly Ezekiel ("Keep it to yourself," March 3) knows anything 
about domestic violence and drugs? If she did, she would know that 
overwhelmingly the drug involved in most violence-related cases is the 
"legal drug" alcohol. Furthermore, drugs ARE NOT legal in Amsterdam. They 
have a "de facto" legalization based on a "harm reduction" approach to drugs.

The Dutch see no reason to bother the soft drugs consumer. They have 
actually made a good case for the argument their approach has helped 
generations of adolescents stay away from the more harmful harder drugs.

Their plan is one of tolerance for small amounts of soft drugs and truthful 
drug education backed by science and no law enforcement scare tactics or 
draconian measures like asset forfeiture, mandatory sentencing and an 
outrageous yearly cost to the taxpayer with no real results. And it works. 
Just look at the numbers of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C among intravenous drug 
users in harm-reduction scenarios and then look at the United States. Our 
"law-abiding society" has a blatant disregard for the least fortunate in a 
drug war. I sincerely hope your children, or the people you care about, do 
not come to find out the worst thing about a drug like marijuana is getting 
caught with it in the United States. Shelly's undeniable hatred for the 
illegal drug issue has blinded all logic. I suggest she better inform 
herself, lose the hate and become part of a realistic solution to this 
problem. We would all benefit.

This is a problem that is among the most pervasive in our society, yet met 
with the least amount of common sense.

Peter Christopher

Locust, N.J.
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