Pubdate: Sun, 24 May 2009
Source: Reporter, The (Vacaville, CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Reporter
Author: Ralph Givens


Will Ozier is right about marijuana ("Time to abandon policy," May
17), until he gets to the point about keeping "laws designed to assure
that our children are protected" on the books. The plain fact is that
prohibition laws make children more vulnerable to drugs because outlaw
dealers do not check for age.

During alcohol Prohibition, the United States had the worst epidemic
of teen alcoholism before or since. Kids as young as 12 were served in
speakeasies. Every high school had its own in-house bootlegger to keep
the kiddies supplied with rotgut booze. Every year during alcohol
Prohibition, thousands of teens suffered brain damage, blindness,
paralysis, permanent liver damage, kidney failure and death caused by
rotgut liquor.

After repeal, bootleggers disappeared from America's schoolyards and
teen alcohol use dropped substantially because licensed, regulated
dealers seldom sell to minors.

The best way to protect teens from drugs is by legalizing them and
installing a regulated system to control adult drug use.

Ralph Givens

Daly City
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