Pubdate: Tue, 08 Apr 2008
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Times-Herald
Author: Ralph Givens


One point should be added to letter writer Paul Armentano's insightful
comments about drug prohibition ("Start with the war on drugs," April
2). There was no such thing as a "drug problem" before the drug laws
went on the books in 1914. Search old newspaper archives in vain
seeking an addiction-related robbery, theft, embezzlement, assault or
murder when drugs were legal.

When addicts could buy all of the heroin, morphine, cocaine and
anything else they wanted cheaply and legally, there was no such thing
as "drug crime." Nowadays, our prisons are filled with drug users
whose crime is being addicted to a drug. The term "drug crime" is an
alibi for a failed drug crusade.

Likewise, when addicts used pure pharmaceutical drugs of known purity
and potency, accidental overdoses were virtually unheard of. Before
drug prohibition almost all drug deaths were suicides done because of
terminal health conditions. Recently drug czar John Walters said there
are more than 30,000 accidental overdoses every year.

Drug prohibition is completely counterproductive and should be ended.

Ralph Givens,

Daly City
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek