Pubdate: Thu, 26 Oct 2006
Source: Star-Gazette (NY)
Copyright: 2006sStar-Gazette
Author: Samuel Ehrlichman


The Star-Gazette recently featured back-to-back articles on the drug
war: a drug-related shooting in Ithaca, followed by a look at how the
violence generated by the drug war is affecting Elmira.What the
stories failed to note is that it is not the drugs per se that caused
all this violence, but the drug war.

Why do you suppose it is that there are shootings all the time between
drug dealers and police, or between drug dealers and each other, but
not since the days of alcohol prohibition has there been constant gun
violence between purveyors of wine and spirits? It's almost comical in
2006 to imagine your neighborhood wine guy armed to the teeth,
defending his turf.

The fact is, modern-day prohibition has spawned modern-day drug crime.
The solution is clear. Take marijuana out of the hands of gangs and
thugs and put it in a tightly regulated market -- with a "We Card"
program -- just like alcohol, and stop treating cocaine, heroin and
meth addiction as law enforcement problems instead of as the medical
problems they really are.

Samuel Ehrlichman

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