Pubdate: Mon, 29 Oct 2007
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2007 The Birmingham News
Author: Loretta Nall


Bravo for News staff writer Dave Parks' article "Drug problem worse based 
on new data" (Oct. 21). It painted a very clear picture of where police, 
court and correctional resources are being squandered in the government's 
failed and costly "war on drugs." It's really a war on marijuana consumers, 
who are the most numerous but least problematic of all substance users. So 
much for the theory of safety in numbers.

The fact that more than half of arrests and prosecutions for all drug 
violations were for simple marijuana possession shows the police and courts 
have no real interest in targeting large dealers. After all, with no large 
dealers, there will be no small users to round up for prison or drug court 
programs. This clearly shows the drug war really amounts to nothing more 
than a government jobs program, meant to be waged, not won.

What illustrated this even clearer was the quote from Lt. Paul Hogan, head 
of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department narcotics division. "I don't 
think we're ever going to stomp out drugs totally," Hogan said.

That's good for him, because it means he will always have a job stomping 
out the lives of pot smokers, if not the pot itself.

I think it is safe to say the government has become addicted to marijuana 
smokers. Without us, they would be forced to work on murder, burglary, 
robbery and auto theft cases, of which the clearance rates are about 17 
percent statewide.

Loretta Nall

Alexander City 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D