Pubdate: Sun, 28 Nov 2010
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Donald C. Smart


Re: "Failure of war on drugs opens way for new strategy" by Joe Amon 
(Insight, Nov. 21)

The evidence supporting Amon's indictment of the "war on drugs" is 
valid. The prosecution and jailing of drug users does nothing to cure 
addiction and protect drug-user health: It further wrecks young 
lives, often converting drug users into more hardened criminals. Amon 
is right in saying we should decriminalize drug use and make 
treatment readily available. That is what the Portuguese are doing, 
and it works to reduce drug use, addiction and all related health and 
social pathologies.

Amon's evidence doesn't support legalizing drugs' manufacture and 
sale. The Portuguese have not done that, and their experience proves 
that it's not necessary to do so. We in America should reform drug 
control in a manner consistent with consumer protection philosophy. 
Instead of treating drug users as criminals, treat them for what they 
are - victims of criminals who manufacture and sell drugs, tricking 
young people to experiment with these health-destroying substances. 
Your readers can learn more about rational, humane, and effective 
drug control measures at

Donald C. Smart, Oakland
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