Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 2015
Source: Times Argus (Barre, VT)
Copyright: 2015 Times Argus
Author: Kimberley B. Cheney


Your reports of June 28 and June 29 headlined "Heroin Trail Leads to 
Vermont"  accurately describes the social destruction the bankrupt 
War on Drugs has brought to Vermont, indeed the world. Prohibition of 
use and possession of drugs is responsible for this cataclysm. The 
policy of criminalization of drugs has stimulated a vast criminal 
conspiracy to successfully distribute and market extremely dangerous 
substances to more and more people. That was the experience of 
alcohol prohibition. It is the case with drugs. It is a failed war 
that should be abandoned. It has caused an increase in supply, 
increased purity of drugs, incarcerated thousands of people (you can 
cure an addition but not a conviction), siphoned trillions of dollars 
away from addiction treatment into counter-productive prisons, 
nurtured corruption and distracted police from effective work.

In 2009, 2.7 tons of heroin were seized, in 2013 it was 5.1 tons 
(Your story says 70 kilograms were seized in New York City - less 
than 1/10 of a ton). Supply keeps going up as cartels make huge 
amounts of money in doing so. The wrong people are in charge of drug policy.

That is why Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Greece and to some extent 
Holland have opted to decriminalize all drugs and instead regulate 
use and distribution though civil processes. The action is in 
accordance with the recommendation of the Global Commission on Drug 
Policy. It is also why the organization Law Enforcement Against 
Prohibition, LEAP (, of which I am a member, composed of 
over 1,500 former law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges 
urge legislators to legalize all drugs and control them as we do 
alcohol and use the vast savings in prison reduction, law enforcement 
costs and tax revenue to provide treatment for the many victims of 
the failed War on Drugs. Your paper's report on the ravages of heroin 
is dead on, the DEA agent's facile comment that a large seizure will 
reduce supply is dead wrong.

Kimberly B. Cheney

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