Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jun 2011 Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX) Copyright: 2011 Amarillo Globe-News Contact: http://amarillonet.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/13 Author: Bill Mosteller SAGAN SHOWS COURAGE In reply to Greg Sagan's opinion column on June 14 ("Anger, fear spur prison building boom"), I thank Sagan for having the courage to speak out against the war on drugs. The war on drugs has been going on for decades and it is not working. While it is failing, it also is ruining a lot of lives. This war is waged against our own citizens. Drug abuse is and will always be a real problem in our society, but treating the addicted like criminals does not help. Some drugs like marijuana, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can be used responsibly and people should retain, or in the case of marijuana regain the right to use these drugs for recreation or spiritual purposes. Other drugs like the ever-expanding list of prescription medications need tighter regulation and restriction to protect consumers. Ending the war on drugs has the potential to cut billions of dollars a year from the federal budget, not to mention create some much-needed room at our correctional institutions. Before we rush to ideas about cutting popular programs like Medicaid and Medicare, shouldn't we first consider ending a program that is much less popular and ineffective to boot? Bill Mosteller Amarillo - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.