Pubdate: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Gerald M. Sutliff TAINTED DRUG JUSTICE Milton Friedman pointed out over 25 years ago that prohibitionary laws are at their core corrupting of law enforcement, the judicial system and society itself. Drug transactions between seller and buyer are consensual - neither makes the complaint about the activity. Consequently, law enforcement authorities resort to using informants to obtain convictions. This leads inevitably to a point where, as was said by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, "The judicial process is tainted and justice cheapened when factual testimony is purchased, whether with leniency or money" ( "Loss of plea deals perils war on crime," July 20). The war on drugs would become nearly impossible should the 10th Circuit decision stand. For that reason I am confident the decision will not. The verbal contortions required to reverse the dead-on correct decision will make interesting reading. Gerald M. Sutliff Emeryville - --- Checked-by: "Rolf Ernst"