Pubdate: Sun, 21 Apr 2002
Source: Daily Gazette (NY)
Copyright: 2002 The Gazette Newspapers
Author: Arthur Cole
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Is it any surprise that crime and drug activity in Hamilton Hill picked up 
again after police swept the area and removed 100 or so drug dealers? Not 
really. It's been well documented that drug sweeps do nothing to end the 
drug trade. They merely replace one set of dealers with another, with a 
corresponding increase in violence as the new dealers fight for all that 
turf that is now up for grabs.

It is the dealers, after all, who are responsible for the drug-related 
mayhem on our streets. Drug users, for the most part, only become a threat 
to society when the price of drugs exceeds their ability to pay for them. 
What drives up the price of drugs? Drug prohibition, of course.

Someday, the America public will realize that drug prohibition, like 
alcohol prohibition before it, only fuels crime and violence in our 
society. Providing addicts with a safe, low-cost, steady supply of even 
hard drugs like heroin will remove the drug dealers from our streets, 
drastically cut down on overdose and drug-related deaths, reduce property 
crime caused by addicts and make it exceedingly difficult for our young 
people to acquire drugs.

Isn't that why we are fighting the drug war in the first place?


Hope Valley, R.I.
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