Pubdate: Thu, 14 Aug 2003
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Copyright: 2003 The Kansas City Star
Author: Elyse Max


It is not surprising that COMBAT passed last Tuesday (8/6, A-1,
"Jackson County extends drug tax"). It seems that so many want to
throw money at the drug problem and avoid sensible policies that would
require grass-roots and community efforts and would actually show results.

Drug abuse and addiction are social problems that will not be solved
punitively. Since the inception of COMBAT, drug prosecution has risen
387 percent. More drug users continue to jam our prisons than ever

If recent incarceration rates remain the same, it is estimated by some
that 1 in 20 Americans will serve time in prison during their
lifetimes. For African-American men, the number is 1 in 4.

The drug problem will never be won by declaring a "war" on drug users.
This is exactly what the COMBAT tax aims to do. This tax has been
turning our communities into war zones for the past 14 years.

Now, for seven more years, whenever I buy something in Jackson County,
I am funding the "war on drugs."

Elyse Max
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Kansas City
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart