Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 2004
Source: Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)
Copyright: 2004 Florida Today
Author: Kevin O'Connor


Our country's war on drugs has turned out to be a complete failure, and a 
monumental waste of time, money and resources.

There is a better way.

Decriminalize drugs and take out the profit margin for dealers. Treat the 
addiction through rehabilitation, not incarceration.

The profits from selling drugs are so great that inner-city gangs are 
increasing in numbers and expanding to every city in our nation.

In many neighborhoods, you can't even walk outside without fear of gang 
violence. Many retired prison wardens agree the war on drugs has been a 
huge failure.

Our police departments and other law-enforcement agencies waste time and 
money chasing the small-time drug offenders, instead of the thugs who now 
terrorize many of our communities.

I think it's time for a real war -- and that's a war on gangs.

If that means using the National Guard in some of our more violent cities 
to take back control of our streets and make them safe again, who would object?

I'll bet most Americans would applaud and approve, and wonder what took so 

We are able to help other nations become safe and secure, but we can't seem 
to secure our own cities.

Kevin O'Connor Santa Barbara, Calif.
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