Pubdate: Tue, 06 Feb 2007
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 2007 Burlington Free Press
Author: Fred Chase


In the article "Armed holdups rising statewide," (Jan. 27) Vermont 
State Police Major Tom L'Esperance notes correctly that for addicts, 
"Your addiction drives everything. There is no more important charge 
in your life than to buy drugs." What about those addicted to 
alcohol? Have we read recently about any armed robberies to satisfy 
an alcoholic's addition?

Alcohol is legal, regulated and taxed so the price is reasonable and 
the profits are in line. Recreational users and addicts can acquire 
it at a reasonable price. Robbery is not necessary to own it. Illegal 
drugs are illegal, unregulated and untaxed so the price is enormous 
and the profits are beyond what a drug company executive could 
imagine. So, underground entrepreneurs who are risk-takers will take 
the risks for these huge profits from this government program.

In the 1930s when alcohol was prohibited as illegal drugs are now, 
the politicians and the citizens connected the dots. Prohibition was 
repealed. Then, we lost sight of our historical enlightenment. In 
1971, Richard Nixon declared his "War on Drugs." We have been at this 
war for 36 years and we are no closer to winning it than we were 36 years ago.

In the 1930s the citizens and the politicians chose to repeal 
Prohibition. They must have known that prevention does not work by 
passing criminal laws; that the solution is through education and 
treatment. The lesson I guess is that criminal laws are not effective 
to prevent the use of any substance that is in strong demand.

Fred Chase

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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman