Pubdate: Mon, 09 Jun 2003
Source: Delta Democrat Times (MS)
Copyright: 2003 Delta Democrat Times
Author: Kim Hanna
Note: the pubdate is approximate



Mr. James Hanners is exaggerating the drug problem. It appears that he 
wants everyone to be straight and to not use any pleasure producing drugs.

This is an unrealistic and unwarranted expectation. He should stop telling 
us how to manage our minds and bodies.

It's really up to us. It's not his or the government's place to deny people 
their pleasures, just because he doesn't approve.

Sure a lot of teenagers get booze and cigarettes but they also say (in 
government surveys) that it's easier to get the outlawed marijuana from the 
underground black market, then to get the legal, regulated alcohol, that is 
sold in licensed, tightly monitored liquor stores.

That proves drug prohibition doesn't work and regulated distribution does.

He need look no further than television to find the driving force for 
teenage alcohol use. Every child is bombarded with a zillion booze 
commercials in their lifetime.

More than 90 percent of teenagers who try marijuana quit in later years and 
never try any hard drugs. They tend not to use alcohol or cigarettes that 
much either.

Legalizing and regulating the distribution of illegal drugs will keep them 
under tight government controls. Computer monitoring how much people use 
can direct the abusers to counseling and will prevent drug diversion to 
children or the black market.

There are ways to control drugs but we are caught up in a wasteful drug war 
because people like Mr. Hanners who are afraid of a little plant-based 
pleasure. An unwarranted fear.

Kim Hanna,

Worcester, Mass.
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