Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jan 2009
Source: Maple Ridge Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc
Author: Dan Banov


Editor, The News:

Re: Drugs are root of homelessness (Letters, Jan. 21).

I can agree this is likely true, but to imply the police are putting
wrong ones in jail?

Doc Street's letter had a simplistic solution: put dealers in jail and
for longer times.

Locking up drug dealers will only fill up jails and take tax dollars
away from treating drug addicts and public housing. We waste millions
on police hours. Society tries to control moral values by force and
gets nowhere. It is like disciplining a child by physical punishment.
Spanking may work for the immediate problem, but will not improve
child behaviour - it will make long term discipline worse.

How does forcing moral values of making certain drugs illegal stop use
of these drugs? If people want a certain drug, dealers will supply no
matter what the penalty is. A tougher penalty may increase cost, but
not supply.

Increasing penalties like longer jail time only increases criminal

To get rid of drugs, you have to either get rid of the source or

Getting rid of the source, you can never do. If there is a demand and
profit to be make, someone will fill that demand no matter how illegal
you make it.

Prohibition failed with alcohol and is not working with drugs. So
wasting resources with increased penalties, more police and controls
only takes away money from actually solving the problem - decreasing
the demand.

If we did not waste money fighting drug dealers, we could actually use
public money to educate people, creating social housing and providing
treatments for those who, for one reason or another, make poor choices
in their lives.

Just make drugs legal and controlled like cigarettes, alcohol and
other prescription drugs. Take the drugs out of criminal hands.

Simplistic solutions could work.

Dan Banov

Maple Ridge
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