From:  (MAPNews)
Pubdate: July 3, 1998
Source:  Norfolk Daily News (NE)
Contact: Dear Editor,

I liked your editorial "Drugs, alcohol: The same thing?" June 25th.
Addressing issues like this is the essence of responsibility. I didn't
however like your answer to your own question, "Why fight it?" with "it"
being the distinction between the drug alcohol and other currently illicit
drugs. There is a clear and compelling reason to educate all Americans to
the concept of one drug policy that covers all drugs.

Alcohol is a drug. It is recognized as a drug by every medical body that
has weighed in on the issue, and is now referred to as a drug by all
federal agencies that deal with it. The drug alcohol causes over 85% of our
drug-related crime, and over 90% of our substance abuse/addiction problems.
My question back to the Daily News is "Why continue the charade that allows
those who use alcohol recreationally to pretend it isn't a drug? 

When a crime is committed by a person under the influence of a single drug,
it will be alcohol 84% of the time, cocaine 12% of the time, heroin 4% of
the time, and marijuana to infrequently to measure. Any cop will tell you
that in cases of domestic violence, alcohol will be the drug involved in
almost every case. Alcohol remains our biggest drug problem, just like it
always has been.

The biggest reason people must understand that alcohol is a drug is because
of the self-inflicted insanity of the War on Drugs, or Prohibition II. We
are destroying generations of children once again with an attempt to
prohibit a popular substance. 

Children suffered horribly under Prohibition. They were used just as
children are used today; to deliver drugs (alcohol) and collect money.
Alcohol abuse and addiction problems skyrocketed among children. Violence,
much of it involving children, made streets unsafe. It got so bad that
"Save Our Children" became the rallying cry of those who led the drive to
repeal Prohibition.

Here we are again, up to our necks in the same mess; prohibition. 

Consider this.

We know how destructive alcohol is, and how much worse all alcohol-related
problems became under Prohibition. So, what we are seeing today is the best
possible situation for controlling the problems caused by alcohol. We have
legalization of alcohol, or to put it more accurately, we have government
regulated sales and use of alcohol.

On the other hand, we have the worst possible situation imaginable with the
small handful of drugs that are currently prohibited. Instead of sales
being limited to state-approved sales outlets, these drugs are available
for sale on every street corner, in every town and city in the country. For
the past 27 years we have been fighting a civil war against drug users in
the United States. The result is that drugs are more out of control than
ever before, they are more available than ever before, and the situation
continues to get worse.

Since law enforcement will never be able to control the problem, which
would you really prefer, drug sales controlled by criminal elements, or
drug sales controlled by our government? 


Arthur R Sobey 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake