Pubdate: Tue, 09 Jun 2015
Source: Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Copyright: 2015 The Press-Enterprise Company
Author: Chris Daly


Re: "Anti-marijuana forces prevail" [Editorial, June 4]: In the 44 
years of the "War on Drugs," the population of federal prisons have 
expanded by about eight times. We have spent well over a trillion 
dollars, yet the addiction/abuse rates have not changed. The 
criminals have become rich and powerful, violence has exploded and 
several countries and areas in the U.S. have all but full-blown wars 
over drugs happening.

After 13 years of alcohol prohibition, Americans in the 1930s saw the 
criminals had gotten rich and powerful, violence had exploded and 
many areas in the country had all but full-blown wars over alcohol.

While there was a decrease in alcohol-related problems, they 
recognized the problems created were greater. They understood you 
cannot stop people from using it, repealed Prohibition and began 
controlling the production and sale of alcohol - and taxing it.

Those who argue against drug legalization by pointing out all of the 
bad results and costs associated ignore the costs of the two legal 
and more dangerous drugs. Alcohol and tobacco cost America at least 
double what the abuse of legal and illegal drugs do. The money being 
wasted trying to stop drug abuse would go a long way in treating it - 
the only approach that has been shown to work.

Drug abuse is not good, but the approach we have been trying for the 
last 44 years is worse. We need to find a better way.

Chris Daly

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