Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jan 2003
Source: Greenwood Commonwealth (MS)
Copyright: 2003 Greenwood Commonwealth
Author: Robert Sharpe


Editor, Commonwealth:

Thank you for defending civil liberties in your Jan. 10 editorial ("Melton 
needs to learn the law"). Five misdemeanor drug arrests hardly justify 
Narcotics Bureau Director Frank Melton's controversial road blocks.

The steady rise in warrantless police searches, drug-sniffing dogs in 
schools and random drug testing have led to a loss of civil liberties in 
America, while failing miserably at preventing drug use.

A majority of European Union countries have decriminalized marijuana. 
Despite marijuana prohibition and perhaps because of forbidden fruit 
appeal, lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the United States than any 
European country.

The drug war threatens the integrity of a country founded on the concept of 
limited government.

It's not possible to wage a moralistic war against consensual vices unless 
privacy is completely eliminated, along with the Constitution.

America can either be a free country or a "drug-free" country, but not both.

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer

Drug Policy Alliance, Washington
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