Pubdate: Wed, 27 Mar 2002
Source: Times Daily (AL)
Contact:  2002 Times Daily
Author: Ray Aldridge


To the Editor:

I read with interest Kirk Muse's logical rebuttal of Frank Powell's highly 
imaginative letter to the editor, in which Powell attempted to ridicule the 
idea of drug-law reform.

Muse is undoubtedly unfamiliar with Florence, or he might not have held up 
Prohibition as an example of a failed policy.

I don't know how it is now, but when I lived in Florence, we enjoyed the 
benefits of a local Prohibition that had endured from the days of the 
Volstead Act.

Of course, the fact that Florence was "dry" prevented everyone from 
drinking, just as our drug laws prevent everyone from using illicit drugs. 
I can't explain the beer bottles that appeared along the road in front of 
my house every Saturday night.

Perhaps someone with a good arm threw them all the way from the Tennessee line.

Seriously, even though local prohibition did nothing to stop locals from 
getting drunk, it did result in the deaths of many folks on the highway 
between Florence and the state-line bars. And it did foster important 
friendships and financial partnerships between local religious leaders and 
local bootleggers, every time someone tried to mount a "wet" referendum.

At any rate, whenever I hear someone defend our futile and destructive drug 
laws, I always wonder whether he's a drug dealer or a drug warrior. After 
all, if the war on drugs ever ends, both will have to go out and get real jobs.

Ray Aldridge Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
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