Pubdate: Fri, 30 Oct 2009
Source: Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus,GA)
Copyright: 2009 Ledger-Enquirer
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Dusty Nix's thoughtful Oct. 25th editorial, the drug war is
a cure worse than the disease. Attempts to limit the supply of illegal
drugs while demand remains constant only increase the profitability of
drug trafficking. For addictive drugs, a spike in street prices leads
desperate addicts to increase criminal activity. The drug war doesn't
fight crime; it fuels crime.

With alcohol prohibition repealed, liquor bootleggers no longer gun
each other down in drive-by shootings, nor do consumers go blind
drinking unregulated bathtub gin. While U.S. politicians ignore the
drug war's historical precedent, European countries are embracing harm
reduction, based on the principle that both drug abuse and prohibition
cause harm.

Examples include needle exchange programs to stop the spread of HIV,
marijuana regulation aimed at separating the hard and soft drug
markets, and treatment alternatives that do not require incarceration
as a prerequisite.

Unfortunately, fear of appearing "soft on crime" compels many U.S.
politicians to support a failed drug war that ultimately subsidizes
organized crime.

Robert Sharpe

Common Sense for Drug Policy (, Washington
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