Pubdate: Mon, 18 Mar 2002
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Lee Monnet
Note: Monnet is Libertarian Candidate 112th Assembly District


I don't share St. Lawrence County Sheriff Jarvis' optimism that "it's 
getting harder to buy drugs in St. Lawrence County". There are no 
statistics to support this claim. Actually it's very hard to monitor 
illicit drug sales and use because of the punitive nature of our drug policies.

Currently we have a policy of prohibition. Prohibition creates a 
black-market that inflates drug prices to ridiculous levels.

Unfortunately these prices are the motivation for many people to become 
involved in the drug trade.

Every year we struggle to pay our taxes. Recently we've heard of some 
school districts proposing a 20% to 25% school tax increase.

With this in mind I question the need for such a large drug task force when 
we have so many other law-enforcement agencies involved in the same cases.

Currently the DEA, FBI, BCI, INS, Border Patrol, US Customs, National 
Guard, and all local agencies are participating in arrests in this county. 
How many officers are needed to make an arrest?

I have some drug war facts that may be of interest.

There were 1.6 million drug arrest made in the year 2000 a slight increase 
over 1999. There were more people arrested for drug offenses than for 
murder, rape, arson, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and auto theft 

We have nearly 2 million people behind bars in America today.

The DEA estimates only 10% of illegal drugs coming into this country are 

Currently the federal drug war budget is about $ 20 billion.

Since 1980 the U.S. has spent approximately one half trillion federal, 
state, and local tax dollars on the drug war.

In 2000 Congress approved $ 1.6 Billion to assist Columbia in eradicating 
coca production. Recently the Bush administration has admitted that coca 
production in Columbia has increased by 25% last year. How many more 
taxpayers dollars will be spent before the Government realizes that our 
current drug policies are just not working?

Lee Monnet

Ogdensburg, NY

Libertarian Candidate 112th Assembly District
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