Pubdate: Sun, 11 Dec 2005
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2005 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Thomas Tobiason


I agree completely with Norm Stamper's view that we should legalize
all drugs. We have more people in prison than any other nation on this
planet except Russia (a recent development); 58 percent of those in
prison are in on drug or drug-related charges. We spend more money on
prisons than schools.

Does this sound like America? Do we want to think of ourselves as
outdoing Russia and China at prison populations? Is this a cost we
wish to bear?

If we legalize all drugs, what will happen? If we categorize alcohol
as a drug, then there will not be any additional drug use. Here's why:

We can divide the population into three segments: those who use drugs
currently, those who use alcohol currently and those who use neither.
If drugs become legal, clearly those who use drugs already will
continue. Those who drink alcohol may switch to drugs -- this doesn't
represent additional drug use. Those who don't use drugs or drink
alcohol currently (for religious or health reasons), will not start
just because drugs become legal.

Thomas Tobiason, Seattle
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