Pubdate: Fri, 17 Dec 2004
Source: Mobile Register (AL)
Copyright: 2004 Mobile Register
Author: Loretta Nall


This letter is in response to the article, "27 percent of Baldwin
students used drugs" (Nov. 19).

This article is a classic example of how prohibition fails our
children. For more than 30 years, our country has fought the "drug
war" with no noticeable gains.

Millions of American citizens locked in prison, billions of dollars
spent federalizing the local police, millions of lives destroyed --
what we have given up as far as the Bill of Rights and privacy is
immeasurable. Today drugs are more widely available than ever before.

Yet almost daily, we see stories like this one. Despite that, most
people will clamor loudly that we need more funding for police, more
funding for school drug-testing, more funding for DARE and the loss of
more of our rights.

I would like to remind people that the definition of insanity is doing
the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Let's face it. People have been fooled into paying for their worst
nightmare. Perhaps they do not realize it. Maybe fear keeps them from
thinking rationally.

Prohibition does not keep kids away from drugs. In fact, it does just
the opposite. Because of prohibition criminals control the market.

But the most frightening aspect of the drug war as it relates to
children is that if we allow prohibition to continue, then it is our
children who will be the next generation of prison inmates. Are you
willing to allow the government to sacrifice your kids in order to
keep from admitting that it has been wrong all along? I'm not.

It is time to try a new approach to drugs altogether -- perhaps one
that does not involve law enforcement or the criminal (in)justice
system, as neither of those institutions is equipped to properly deal
with a health and social issue.

Loretta Nall
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