Pubdate: Thu, 08 Mar 2007
Source: Stowe Reporter, The (VT)
Copyright: 2007 The Stowe Reporter
Author: Fred Chase


To the Editor:

Scott Monroe reports on more drug convictions in the March 1 issue of
the Stowe Reporter. We have been at this drug war for 36 years and we
are no closer to winning it than we were 36 years ago.

Richard Nixon declared his "War on Drugs" in 1971.

This is a government program that generates huge prices and huge
profits because the drugs are illegal. For risk-takers with an
entrepreneurial spirit and limited opportunities, this government
program is made for them. They are willing to take the risk of going
to prison for profits that the pharmaceutical companies can only dream

Does anyone believe that there won't be other risk-takers taking the
places of those apprehended in Stowe and Morrisville in a week? A
month? Six months? The profits are too great.

Maybe it's time for a change of direction. Maybe it is time to
puncture the balloon that generates these huge profits.

In the 1930s, the citizens and the politicians came to the conclusion
that the war against alcohol - that is, Prohibition - did more harm
than did the drug alcohol. Al Capone and others got rich during
Prohibition. Organized crime came into its own and went on to
flourish. So the citizens and the politicians repealed

 From the standpoint of total damage done from addiction to alcohol in
the USA compared to the damage stemming from marijuana, say, it is
hardly a blip (except, of course, the damages stemming from the drug
war itself). Even more to the point, the drug war has not ended the
availability of illegal drugs. Those who want these drugs get these
drugs if they can pay the price, even committing armed robbery to do
so, as Vermonters have learned.

Maybe it's time for a change of direction.

Fred Chase, Stowe
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