Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Copyright: 2011 Times Colonist Contact: http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/letters.html Website: http://www.timescolonist.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/481 Author: William Perry DRUG PROHIBITION FUELS CRIME, HURTS SOCIETY In the world of federal politics, the prohibition on drugs extends to talking about them as well as taking them. For any politician with ambition, the issue is simply out of bounds, which makes a radical rethink of our approach to drugs a challenge. Drug prohibition is the true cause of much of the social and personal damage that has historically been attributed to drug use. It is prohibition that makes illegal drugs expensive, while giving criminals a monopoly over their supply. Driven by the huge profits, criminal gangs bribe and kill each other, law enforcers and children. Their trade is unregulated and they are beyond our control. History has shown that drug prohibition reduces neither use nor abuse. After a drug dealer is arrested, neither the supply nor the demand for drugs is changed. The arrest merely creates a job opening for an endless stream of drug entrepreneurs who will take huge risks for the sake of the enormous profits. Prohibition costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year, yet after 40 years and some 40 million arrests in Canada and the U.S., drugs are cheaper, more potent and far more widely used than at the beginning of this futile crusade. By eliminating prohibition of all drugs for adults and establishing appropriate regulation and standards for distribution and use, law enforcement could focus more on crimes of violence. In a regulated and controlled environment, drugs would be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children. And by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce rates of addiction and overdose deaths. William Perry Victoria - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.