Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 1998
Date: 08/01/1998
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Author: Matthew Clark

I found drug czar Barry McCaffrey's diatribe against drug legalization
encouraging (Commentary, July 27), mostly because the existence of a
high-profile response like this means that the important issue of drug
legalization in the U.S. is at last gaining some long-overdue
credibility. The fact is that people use drugs.

Millions of Americans are hooked on tobacco products and millions more
are addicted to alcohol; these two extremely dangerous legal drugs
kill over half a million Americans each year. Even so, no sane person
advocates putting smokers and drinkers in prison for life as a way of
"helping" them, yet this is exactly the approach recommended for
other, much less harmful drugs, which we presently term "illegal."

Matthew Clark
San Diego