Pubdate: Mon, 09 Mar 1998
Date: 09/03/1998
Source: Woods County Enterprise (OK)
Author: Chet Olson

September 3, 1998

Dear Editor,

Those wanting a drug dog for Waynoka are undoubtedly sincere in their
intent and for that I commend them. Unfortunately, the solution being
proposed will itself create serious problems.

The negative effect of the drug war are increasingly being recognized
as being equal to those produced by drug abuse.

As a nation we now spend around 150 billion dollars per year in an
effort to curb drug use and abuse, most of which is spent on
interdiction (arrests, courts, and prisons). To put that figure in
perspective, over the years we have spent a total of somewhere around
30 billion fighting cancer. That's a mere on fifth of what we spend
every year fighting the drug war! In spite of that, drugs are as
available as ever. Citizens are beginning to recognize that the lock
'em up solution is not only terribly expensive, but is not working.

In addition to the enormous waste of tax money, the war is undermining
respect for our laws. While many manage to overlook the hypocrisy of a
society that consumes mega-tons of politically accepted drugs (many of
which are more deadly than some of the illegal drugs) and even places
drugs in school in the form of caffeine (e.g. Pepsi, Coke, and
Mountain Dew), to those who are willing to look, the hypocrisy, the
injustice, is quite clear.

Certainly, a drug dog will result in arrests.

But what will that mean for Waynoka? Well, it won't mean an absence of

There might be periodic shortages and the price might go up, but
consider this: it is well known that you can buy drugs in
prisons--where they also have drug dogs. If law enforcement cannot
keep drugs out of a heavily controlled compound surrounded by razor
wire and armed guards, why would anyone think they could keep drugs
out of an open community?

What it will mean is that one of your beloved children, or a neighbor,
or a cousin, or a brother or sister is likely to be sent to prison,
and it is often happens, it is probable that they will be taught to
hate the people who put them there, taught criminal behavior, and then
released back into society (if not given a life sentence). If you
don't care about them, at least consider this: since prisons are badly
overcrowded, violent prisoners will have to be released early to make
room for the non-violent people you propose to send there.

A drug dog is just another tool in the so-called war on drugs, which
is really a war on people.

Even our national leaders recognize that war is bad, which is why they
have ceased referring to their efforts as a war. There are better
solutions, peaceful solutions that seek to help people rather than
punish them; solutions that employ loving non-violent methods instead
of fear-based methods; solutions that recognize the difference between
drug use and drug abuse; solutions that give credence to scientific
finding rather than ignore them.

War and the violence that accompanies war is never a good

And make no mistake, the solution being proposed, however well
intended, is an act of war.

Chet Olson, OKC