Pubdate: Sat, 05 Jul 2003
Source: Bradenton Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2003 Bradenton Herald
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about John Chase's outstanding letter: "Legalize Drugs"
(Wednesday). I'd like to add that 90 years ago we had no such thing as
"drug-related crime." That's because all types of recreational drugs
were legally available at local pharmacies for pennies per dose.

Ninety years ago, we had about 1.8 percent of our population addicted
to drugs, according to federal Judge John Kane of Colorado. That is
the same percentage we have addicted to drugs today.

Today, we don't have coffee-related crime nor tobacco-related crime.
We soon would have, if either of these products were taken off the
legitimate market and criminalized. If coffee or tobacco were
criminalized, they would be untaxed, unregulated and controlled by
criminal gangs just like recreational drugs are today.

As to the message we would send to our children if we re-legalized
recreational drugs - it's not the proper role of a free country's
government to attempt to protect adult citizens from themselves.


Mesa, Ariz.
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