Pubdate: Sat, 16 Apr 2016
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Copyright: 2016 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC.
Author: Kevin Wines


Reading Bart Hinkle's Commentary column, "Coming out of the drug-war 
haze," got me fired up about the war on drugs.

There is a widespread misconception that all drugs are bad when in 
reality there are good drugs and bad drugs. The problem arises when 
propaganda is spread labeling less harmful drugs such as common 
psychedelics ( marijuana, LSD, Psilocybin) as brain-melting 
substances that induce schizophrenia and reefer madness. In actuality 
such drugs only act as a catalyst in bringing to surface underlying 
mental conditions.

When people see that their government has lied to them about certain 
drugs, they may not necessarily believe information about bad drugs, 
and that can lead to the gateway effect. Prohibition also puts the 
production of illegal substances in the hands of criminals who don't 
exactly have a PhD in chemistry, meaning people aren't always getting 
what they think they are buying. On top of that, addicts are treated 
the same as violent criminals and alienated from society.

Addiction is often a mental health issue and should be treated with 
compassion and understanding. Non-violent drug offenders account for 
more than 20 percent of state and federal inmates. Efforts need to be 
directed toward properly and accurately informing citizens about 
drugs and helping addicts receive treatment, not conviction.

Kevin Wines

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom