Pubdate: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 Source: Kamloops Daily News (CN BC) Copyright: 2011 Kamloops Daily News Contact: http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/679 Author: Alan Randell Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n484/a03.html?1205 EDITORIAL IS CLAPTRAP; DRUG LAWS BASED ON RACISM Re: "Drugs: Illegal for a reason," Daily News editorial, July 21. What absolute claptrap! Drugs are indeed prohibited "for a reason" but to argue that drugs are banned because of the harm they do makes no sense whatsoever. Nearly all the harm done to users and non-users alike by illegal drugs is because the drugs are prohibited. Thousands were poisoned by adulterated booze during prohibition and thousands more are dying today because of adulterated drugs, an aspect of government policy my wife and I became well-acquainted with when our 19-year-old son, Peter, died shortly after ingesting some street heroin in 1993. Drug prohibition encourages crime, too, as was shown when Al Capone rose to power after alcohol was banned. Let us never forget also that drug prohibition is racist in origin. It began almost a century ago when the drugs used by certain non-white minorities (blacks, Chinese, Mexicans) were banned ostensibly to protect virtuous, white, Christian women from being seduced by these minorities. Drug laws are an ideal vehicle for social control because they can be applied in an arbitrary manner. Middle class white swingers can indulge their pleasures with impunity. Drug laws apply only to certain social groups: the poor, the coloured, the young, the unemployed, those on the street. Today, the police are happy to make use of this racist legislation to control and harass those whose lifestyle, haircut or skin colour offends them. The best way to reduce the harm and heartbreak of illegal drugs is to end drug prohibition. Let's legalize all drugs, remove the propaganda and the police from the equation and have the drugs manufactured by knowledgeable, competent organizations that will supply cheap, quality tested drugs of known purity and potency and that, in order to avoid legal liability, will impart factual drug information to us and to our children. ALAN RANDELL Victoria - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.