Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jun 2008
Source: Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, GA)
Copyright: 2008 Ledger-Enquirer
Author: Mike Smithson


Thank you for the recent opportunity to discuss the efficacy of drug
prohibition in America.

Columbus defense attorney Stephen Hyles says we are "stunningly
stupid" to call for an end to drug prohibition and uses -- for
example, the fact that moonshiners are still around even with the end
of alcohol prohibition. As a percentage of the marketplace, do we
really think moonshiners compete, in any way, with Budweiser or Jack
Daniel's? And who controls and regulates that marketplace?

In Switzerland they have had a state-run heroin maintenance program
for 10 years. Not one addict has overdosed during this program's
existence, but perhaps the most telling statistic, as reported in the
June 2, 2006 issue of the prestigious medical journal Lancet is the 82
percent decline in new heroin users over the 10-year period.

Instead of debating Mr. Hyles and DA Conger point-by-point in these
pages, however, I suggest a community forum to address the efficacy of
the War on Drugs. I contend that the public overwhelmingly believes
that the War on Drugs is a failed policy and advocates for something

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition contends that 37 years of this
policy have been effective in doing several things well: Over one
trillion dollars spent and the biggest prison system in the world.
After all of that, we now have cheaper drugs, more potent drugs and
more available drugs. Success? I guess it depends on your

Indeed, I wonder of Mr. Hyles or Mr. Conger has considered that the
people who completely agree with them to NOT end drug prohibition are
the drug cartels, organized crime syndicates or the international
terrorists. After all, Al Capone didn't become rich from alcohol -- he
became rich from alcohol prohibition.

Mike Smithson

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
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