Pubdate: Wed, 21 Sep 2005
Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)
Copyright: 2005 The Daily Iowan
Author: Robert Sharpe


Your Sept. 19 editorial was right on target. The drug war threatens the 
integrity of a country founded on the concept of limited government. The 
steady rise in warrantless police searches, drug-sniffing dogs in schools, 
and random drug testing have led to a loss of civil liberties in America 
while failing miserably at preventing drug use.

Based on findings that criminal records are inappropriate as health 
interventions, a majority of European Union countries have decriminalized 
marijuana. Despite marijuana prohibition and perhaps because of the 
forbidden-fruit appeal, lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the United 
States than any European country.

It's not possible to wage a moralistic war against consensual vices unless 
privacy is eliminated, along with the Constitution. The United States now 
has the highest incarceration rate in the world, in large part because of 
the war on some drugs. America can either be a free country or a 
"drug-free" country - but not both.

Students who want to help end the drug war should contact Students for 
Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
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