Pubdate: Tue, 01 Aug 2006
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2006 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Kirk Muse
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Kudos to Ronald Fraser for his outstanding July 26 column, "Save 
prisons for those who belong there; save money" (July 26). Prison 
space should be for those who harm others against their will. Drug 
users and sellers harm nobody against their will. Many judges and 
prison wardens have said that 70 to 80 percent of all property crime 
and violent crime is "drug-related." Actually, almost 100 percent of 
all so-called "drug-related crime" is caused by drug prohibition 
policies - not drugs.

When Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine and sold for 5 
cents a bottle, the term "drug-related crime" didn't exist. Neither 
did drug lords, drug cartels or even drug dealers as we know them today.

Many currently employed in law enforcement are opposed to the idea of 
re-legalizing all types of recreational drugs. That's because if 
drugs were re-legalized, we would need far fewer law enforcement 
personnel, far fewer prison guards and no prison builders.

Thus, many now employed in law enforcement and the prison industry 
would be looking for a job or washing cars for a living.

Of course, those opposed to re-legalizing drugs because it would 
affect their livelihood will not say so. Instead, they will cite 
noble reasons such as "protecting the children."

As if the current policies are protecting children from drugs.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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