Pubdate: Tue, 15 Mar 2011
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2011 Sun Media
Author: Tim Hopkins


I want to pay a brief compliment to Russell Barth for his letter (
"Junk food worse than pot" March 12), and the courage it requires to
take on even a small part of the monstrous drug war, a war with far
more casualties than those claimed by the illicit drugs themselves.
The mainstream media has a definite fetish for trotting out former
drug users who praise their inquisitors for curing them, either
through imprisonment or, more commonly, through "treatment."

With intense media focus on addicts that rob and murder, unfortunately
little is said about the lives of countless nonviolent drug users
devastated by arrests, incarceration and coerced "rehabilitation" programs.

The many deaths caused by legally (but incorrectly) prescribed drugs,
and those sold over the counter, is undocumented, not to mention the
needless agony of people unable to obtain a doctors permission slip or
denied access to a particular drug with potential benefits because the
approval process prohibits a patient from deciding on their own the
effectiveness of a certain drug.

Dialogue on drugs and addiction should not be geared to adapting and
acclimatizing populations to the drug war and associated "rehab" industry.

To be meaningful, it must address the addict, but also the casual
user, and those who might be curious about drug use but fearful they
will be labeled a criminal. It must dispense with the hysteria of the
aggregate concept of drug use and distinguish between the effects,
some relatively benign, others risky, of various types of drugs.

In short, it should uphold the drug user's rights, respect their
dignity, and not insult their intelligence.

Unfortunately, drug warriors require them to experience themselves as
ignorant, sick heretics in need of salvation.

Tim Hopkins

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