Pubdate: Tue, 13 Mar 2007
Source: Palm Beach Post, The (FL)
Copyright: 2007 The Palm Beach Post
Author: Aaron M. Clemens


State Rep. Priscilla Taylor should look no further than our failed 
drug war to explain the violence in Riviera Beach ("Lawmaker urges 
solutions to Riviera Beach violence," Feb. 28). The drug war aims at 
an admirable goal. But remember Prohibition? Despite its laudable 
goal, alcohol use back then increased after a brief decrease. 
Drinkers shifted from beer to more dangerous, bootleg hard liquor. 
The increase in crime, clogging of the courts and corruption of 
public officials made us end that "noble experiment."

Today, our kids are dying; our courts and prisons are clogged with 
drug war targets; and some Hollywood cops were just arrested for 
trying to help federal agents posing as drug dealers. The drug war is 
a jobs program for drug dealers. It pushes users who aren't as 
wealthy as Rush Limbaugh to steal to afford drugs.

Today, kids can get pot, crack or heroin more easily than alcohol. 
Let's stop that. All drugs should be regulated the way alcohol is to 
keep them away from children and generate legitimate jobs and tax 
revenue that won't contribute to street violence and gangs. This drug 
war experiment has failed miserably and violently. We cannot 
legislate addicts away from drugs.

Aaron M. Clemens

West Palm Beach
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