Pubdate: Wed, 03 Apr 2002
Source: Baltimore Chronicle (MD)
Copyright: 2002 The Baltimore Chronicle and the Sentinel
Author: A. Robert Kaufman
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


QUESTION: What is it that Mayor Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy 
Townsend, and Congressmen Robert Ehrlich and Elijah Cummings have in common?

ANSWER: They all prefer the pound of solution to the ounce of prevention 
when it comes to the War on Drugs--which they all in lock-step support.

On Feb. 22, the above-mentioned suspects met with George Bush's Drug Czar 
John P. Walters to press for more drug treatment money from Walters' boss.

No sane or caring person can deny that Baltimore, and the rest of the 
country, need more money for drug treatment.... But treatment alone is the 
most self-defeating way to approach America's drug and alcohol addiction 

The most expensive, also.

The ounce of prevention would be the cheapest and most effective approach.

What would that "ounce" amount to?

The first step would be to take the profits out of drugs, whereby the 
addict could go to a clinic and purchase whatever drugs he/she would have 
gotten anyway, at cost.

The very next day, dealers would have no one to sell to. They would have no 
reason to shoot anyone. The addicts would have no need to steal anything 
not cemented down in order to support their medical compulsion of 
addiction. AIDS and VD would likewise diminish. And best of all, there 
would be no financial incentive to recruit yet another generation to drugs 
or alcohol.

The money saved on cops, courts, prisons, thievery, security systems, 
broken families, broken everything.... would be more than enough to finance 
an honest drug education program that wouldn't have to beg Big Daddy 
Warbucks (Bush) for that which should be an unalienable right-- the right 
to adequate medical treatment for addition, as well as for any other sickness.

A federal jobs and jobs training program for the unemployed and the 
presently unemployable is also needed. "Cured" addicts need a decent life 
to go back to. Only then can they become productive, wealth-creating 

A. Robert Kaufman

Mr. Kaufman writes from West Baltimore.
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