Pubdate: Sun, 01 Mar 2015
Source: Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)
Copyright: 2015 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Author: Denele Campbell


How many more prisons will we build before we wake up? Intoxication 
is intoxication. Alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, 
cocaine-there is no difference. People choose to alter their 
consciousness. Get over it.

Forty years of a war on drugs hasn't reduced the use or abuse of 
anything. It's time to look past the moralizing and accept reality. 
Getting high is not a criminal act. What we fear, the force behind 
prohibition, is the fear that an intoxicated person will harm others.

We tried alcohol prohibition and it failed. Drunk people may get 
behind the wheel or engage in violence. We learned the social chaos 
resulting from prohibition was far worse than the comparatively few 
incidents created by drunks. The same is true for drugs.

If the objective is to help people with addiction, why not spend the 
money on free treatment centers in every community? It would be 
cheaper and more effective than prison. If the objective is to 
protect the public, why not spend more on early childhood 
intervention, on education, on job training? Why not step up 
enforcement to catch those driving while intoxicated or who commit 
theft, assault, and other real crimes?

Is drinking a glass of wine a real crime? If not, then neither is 
smoking a joint. Yet possession of as little as a joint sends 
parolees back to prison. We cannot rid our culture of marijuana. It's 
here. Wake up, face reality, and stop wasting Arkansas tax dollars on 
failed policy.


West Fork
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom