Pubdate: Mon, 11 Jul 2011
Source: Daily News, The (Newburyport, MA)
Copyright: 2011 Eagle Tribune Publishing Company


To the editor:

"Should a SWAT team break down your door at 3 o'clock in the morning 
and shove a shotgun in your face while they tear your home apart and 
put your family's life in danger, looking for evidence that you might 
be hurting yourself?" In 10 years of asking this question, I have yet 
to hear an affirmative response. For over four decades, an insane war 
on drugs has been waged -- not on cocaine, heroin or marijuana -- but 
on the people of this nation. Inner cities have been turned into war 
zones, young men have been imprisoned and gang-raped by AIDS-infected 
inmates and respect for the rule of law has been all but completely 
destroyed in the eyes of the young.

Indeed, whole police departments have been corrupted by the insidious 
effects of organized crime and the illegal drug traffic, all in a 
dubious effort by the political class to protect us from hurting 
ourselves. As a result, use of drugs among the young has tripled, 
addiction goes unchecked, respect for the law is gone.

We're not the only country seeing that nanny states don't work. 
Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland and Portugal have decriminalized 
most or all drugs, and all saw reductions in theft, violence, 
break-ins and organized crime. Portugal has even reported a reduction 
in AIDS transmission rates -- at least, those caused by sharing of 
needles. Do we, as a nation, still have the backbone to confront 
difficult issues like this? Will we continue to legislate in fear and 
ignorance, hoping that our criminal justice system will somehow 
develop the omnipresence to protect people from their mistakes? How 
many violent offenders will be released from prisons in order to make 
room for pot smokers? How many innocent lives will we allow the 
political good old boy network to ruin before we finally reign in 
that arbitrary power that is corrupting the whole process?

Albert "Max" Abramson

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