Pubdate: Tue, 24 May 2005
Source: Monitor, The (McAllen, TX)
Copyright: 2005 The Monitor
Author: Sandy Cote


To the editor:

Re: "Drug war is just law enforcement" (May 15): I agree that alcohol and 
nicotine are deadly substances -- unlike marijuana, which should also be legal.

It's wrong to criminalize a person for using something less dangerous than 
legal substances, and it's wrong to spend our resources waging war on the 
highly popular plant and its millions of consumers, when our country faces 
far more serious drug problems (crack, heroin). In case anyone hasn't 
noticed, we're losing the war on deadly narcotics, and it's time to reform 
the drug war.

We should all take into consideration that deadly narcotics are readily 
available, despite the federally budgeted war on drugs -- and prohibition 
enables big-time drug dealers and small-time street gangs to profit.

It may be more reasonable to distribute these drugs through medical 
facilities, where the user is facing rehabilitation. We haven't been 
focusing enough on treatment or education. We've been too busy overwhelming 
our criminal justice system.

Certainly, police officers and federal agents (for the most part) are just 
doing their jobs and enforcing the law. However, with a clear indication 
that the war on drugs is a wash, it would appear it's our lawmakers who 
are, very unfortunately, wiping out.

Sandy Cote,

Toledo, Ohio 
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