Pubdate: Sat, 27 Jan 2007
Source: Hood County News (TX)
Copyright: 2007, Hood County News and HCN Online Services.
Author: Terry Nelson


Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (, a group of former
judges, cops, prosecutors, prison wardens and concerned citizens,
knows from decades of experience that drug lords and street dealers
accept death at the hands of the state or other dealers as a condition
of employment.

That is why the ever-increasing penalties for trafficking which now
include massive mandatory-minimum sentences have not been effective in
reducing availability of illicit drugs on the streets of America.

According to the Associated Press KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- A court has
convicted a member of Kuwait's ruling family for drug trafficking and
the court has condemned him to death, according to a ruling obtained
Monday. It is believed to be the first time that a member of a ruling
family in one of the Gulf Arab states received the death sentence for
a drug offense.

Even facing the death penalty, being wealthy and having connections to
royalty, the allure of additional riches derived from drugs is too
strong. So, we can conclude from this and our own prison population,
that no matter how severe the penalty there will always be those
willing to run the risk for the rewards.

We will never stop trafficking in drugs as long as they are illegal,
the market is there and the profit so substantial.

The solution is glaringly obvious.

The solution is to legalize all drugs, regulate and control the
manufacturing process and license the marketplace. According to the
National Institute for Drug Abuse, 107.8 billion U.S. dollars is
associated with drugrelated crime, including criminal justice system
costs and costs borne by victims of crime. The cost of treating drug
abuse (including research, training and prevention efforts) was
estimated to be $15.8 billion, a fraction of the cost to support the
War on Drugs.

Our government has the freedom to choose a different method of
combating illegal drug use. It has the power to change tactics and to
treat drug abuse for what it is a -- medical problem, not a criminal
problem. The government can choose to provide treatment instead of
jails for those that abuse drugs. Legalizing and controlling drug
distribution would yield enough revenue to offset treatment programs
without the surplus savings from taxes and reduced prison costs.

Nobel Prize winning laureate PhD. Milton Friedman stated in an open
letter to President Bush that revenue from taxation of marijuana sales
would range from $2.4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like
ordinary consumer goods and if it were taxed like alcohol or tobacco
the revenue stream would be closer to $6.2 billion annually.

LEAP believes that drugs are too dangerous to be left in the hands of
criminals. It's time to regulate and control them. Let's put the money
into education, research and treatment instead of jails and prisons.
We all want a better future for ourselves and our children.