Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2008
Source: Golden Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Golden Star
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor,

Conservative MP Jim Abbott is to be commended for championing
substance abuse treatment. A study conducted by the RAND Corporation
found that every additional dollar invested in substance abuse
treatment saves taxpayers $7.48 in societal costs. There is far more
at stake than tax dollars. The drug war is not the promoter of family
values that some would have us believe.

Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness,
addiction and delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but
society as a whole does too. Incarcerating non-violent drug offenders
alongside hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them with
a taxpayer-funded education in anti-social behavior.

Turning drug users into unemployable ex-cons is a senseless waste of
tax dollars. It's time to declare peace in the failed drug war and
begin treating all substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public
health problem it is. Destroying the futures and families of citizens
who make unhealthy choices doesn't benefit anyone. Drug abuse is bad,
but the drug war is worse.

Sincerely, Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug
Policy, Washington, DC 
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