Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jul 2003
Source: Pilot, The (NC)
Copyright: 2003 The Pilot LLC
Author: Robert C. Currie Jr.
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


In his June 22 letter, "Decriminalizing Drugs Would Be Destructive," John 
M. White wrote: "I spent 25 years as the director of an agency that treated 
people addicted to alcohol and drugs." He vividly described the ill effects 
of drug addiction on victims, their families and the professionals who deal 
with them, and stated: "How anyone can suggest that these people would be 
helped by decriminalizing drugs is, in my opinion, insane."

I must agree that decriminalizing drugs would not help such people, but 
have drug laws and the agencies that treat the victims of addiction solved 
this national dilemma?

Decriminalizing drugs will not end the addiction of current victims. But 
removing the "criminal" element would destroy the profitability of the 
illegal drug trade. Sensible people are fully aware of the ill effects of 
drug use, and the possibility of addiction; that's why they are "pushed" 
into taking the risk. Destroying the enormous profitability of illegal drug 
"pushing" would reduce drug use to the insensible, who might take drugs 
whether they were pushed or not.

Mr. White closed with: "Those who want drugs legalized need to spend one 
day in the local drug treatment facility or ride with a sheriff who is 
transporting an addict for evaluation." I witnessed the horrors of alcohol 
addiction in our "dry" county in my youth; I have witnessed the horrors of 
drug addiction all of my adult life. Laws against the sale of each had no 
measurable effect. But I believe that "decriminalizing drugs would be 
destructive" - destructive to the profit motive of drug pushers 
unscrupulous enough to exploit the illegal drug trade.

Legalizing what Mr. White's 25 years as the director of a drug treatment 
agency proves laws cannot prevent, just might save countless victims - who 
would never consider experimenting with drugs in the first place, were they 
not "pushed" by drug dealers.

Robert C. Currie Jr., Southern Pines
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