Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jun 2011 Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU) Copyright: 2011 Canwest Publishing Inc. Contact: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/letters.html Website: http://www.montrealgazette.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/274 Author: John Chase FIGHTING WRONG WAR ON TOBACCO, DRUGS Re: "Global war on drugs a dismal failure" (Gazette, June 4). One hundred years ago, opium was the enemy and a handful of highly principled Americans persuaded the international community to restrict opium production. They believed that no government should benefit from the opium business, as the British, Spanish and French had done in China, the Philippines and Vietnam, respectively. They were right on principle, but wrong on logic. They must have believed that if opium supply were cut, the price would rise and addiction would decrease . But addiction is not directly proportional to supply. Hard-core addicts often resort to property crime or prostitution to get cash. Casual users quit because of price and fear of arrest. But casual users were not a problem in the first place. Recent drug policy experiments in Europe indicate that if we had focused on the addiction (rather than the drug) we would have something to show for our 100-year effort. John Chase Palm Harbor, Fla. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.