Pubdate: Sun, 24 Mar 2002
Source: Salisbury Post (NC)
Copyright: 2002 Post Publishing Co.
Author: Alan Randell
Bookmark: (Drug Education)


Regarding the article "Mock trial, real lesson: Courtroom class shows 
consequences of dealing drugs" (March 15 Post):

Rather than attempting to scare the students about the consequences of 
being caught with drugs and turn them into obedient little citizens who 
will always do what the governments tells them to do, I hope teachers at 
China Grove Middle School consider discussing with the kids why governments 
prohibit certain drugs.

Is it to protect users from harm

No, that can't be the reason because users suffer more (adulterated drugs 
and jail time) when a drug is banned compared to when it is legally 
available. My wife and I became well acquainted with this aspect of 
government policy when we lost our 19-year-old son to street heroin in 
1993. Besides, two of our more dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are legal.

Is it to reduce the crime associated with illegal drugs?

No, that can't be the reason because banning a drug always gives rise to 
more crime (drug cartels, petty crimes by users as prohibition makes drug 
prices higher, violent disputes between dealers) than when the drug is 
legally available.

Is it to distract attention away from more important issues by conducting a 
brutal, Hitler-like pogrom to ruin the lives of the innocent few who ingest 
or sell certain drugs -- with the additional "benefit" of allowing our 
politicians and cops the pleasure of strutting and preening before us as 
they promise to slay the deadly dragon of drugs while sticking the taxpayer 
with the cost of bigger budgets?


- -- Alan Randell

Victoria, B.C.
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