Pubdate: Tue, 08 Feb 2005
Source: Collegiate Times (VA Tech,  Edu)
Copyright: 2005 Collegiate Times
Author:  Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


In the column "Drug War Wastes Needed Resources" (CT, Feb. 4), the
author is right on target when suggesting that state lawmakers should
change priorities and reprioritize the fight against dangerous drugs.
His views are echoed by a growing group of judges and police who
believe the best way to deal with dangerous drugs is to legalize them
and eliminate the criminal dealers. They have organized as Law
Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

LEAP knows that criminal dealers are the ones who actively market
dangerous drugs to minors and who conduct violence in the streets.
These criminal dealers require that millions of valuable police hours
be wasted in a futile attempt to control illegal drug flow. The only
way to control in-demand drugs is to have them in a regulated market.
This is how we deal with the risky and most commonly abused drug in
America - alcohol.

Legalizing drugs will not solve all of the problems related to drug
use and abuse. But we did not end Prohibition in 1934 because alcohol
use was without risk. We did it because of the urgent need to put Al
Capone and other criminal dealers out of business, as well as move the
product into a market that could be easily monitored by authorities.
We were then more able to help those who have problems with alcohol,
while simultaneously respecting the privacy of those who use the drug

It's time for an equally sensible change in policy for the 21st
century. It's time to legalize drugs.

Stephen Heath

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
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