Pubdate: Wed, 31 Aug 2011
Source: Northwest Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2011 Northwest Herald Newspapers
Author: Dan Linn


The Aug. 26 editorial "With drugs, is jail best?" should have gone a 
step further and advocated for the legalization of heroin and other 
dangerous drugs. Drugs, like alcohol, are dangerous, and therefore 
need to be regulated by the government - not outlawed, thereby being 
left to criminals to control purity levels.

We should have learned through alcohol prohibition that banning a 
dangerous and mind-altering substance that people want to consume 
doesn't work, and leads to many more problems than the substance itself.

Another common fallacy folks have about the war on drugs is that all 
use is abuse. Of course, there are those who abuse drugs and alcohol, 
but there also are those who use these substances responsibly.

The Swiss have had tremendous success with their heroin maintenance 
program. They give addicts free heroin and have been able to reduce 
the spread of disease and crime associated with addiction.

By treating addiction via the criminal justice system, both the 
taxpayers and addicts lose. We can and should legalize these 
substances, regulate them and tax them in licensed facilities that 
also can provide information on quitting or seeking help.

I've had two friends die this summer from overdose deaths. It is 
terrible that we can have billboards and a culture promoting alcohol 
use, but we still deem people who use "illegal" drugs as worthy of 
imprisonment and punishment. The war on drugs has failed just like 
alcohol prohibition failed. Now is the time to legalize, regulate and 
tax all intoxicating substances.

Dan Linn

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom