Pubdate: Sat, 18 Jan 1997
Source: Skagit Valley Herald (WA)
Author: Allison Bigelow

Gen. McCaffrey suggests we stop calling the current drug policy a
"war." Good idea! Unfortunately, whatever we call it, the war on drugs
is causing many casualties. During alcohol prohibition, alcohol was
still available to adults and children despite the law. The mob got
involved because of the high profits.

Now gangs, overcrowded jails and rampant substance abuse by teens are
being caused by that very war. Drugs are easier to get than alcohol for
most children. The government regulates who can purchase alcohol; not so
with illegal drugs.

There comes a time in a debate when one side realizes that they may not
be right. I wonder how many of the government's drug warriors see the
damage they are inflicting on our society but choose to continue. When
you seek the truth, you'll see many studies that have been suppressed by
our government. You'll read articles by reputable people in favor of
drug policy reform.

If we really want to help drug users, jail is not the place. Truly,
what can you expect for someone sent to jail? We should pardon all drug
prisoners and send them to a college or trade school of their choice at
a savings to the taxpayers compared to the cost of incarceration. Which
do you think would be better?

Allison Bigelow