Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) 
Section: Letters To The Editor


Thank you for the column by Hilary Abramson, "A "war' on drugs, but only a
murmur on booze" (Opinion Page, July 31). You have pointed out perhaps the
most troubling of all drug-related problems, that this one drug - alcohol -
causes more deaths, injuries, violence and lost potential of our young
people than all other drugs combined.

All Americans, but especially parents, need to know and remember that
alcohol is indeed a drug, its use can be dangerous and prevention of alcohol
abuse must rank along side other drug-prevention efforts.

That "The Partnership for a Drug-Free America" is the advertising agency
group that originally took Big Tobacco and Big Booze money and failed to
produce one ad to discourage children from smoking or drinking should be
troubling to everyone.

You rightly pointed out that 14,000 Americans will die from illegal drug
use. However, this is but a 10-day total of the deaths due to tobacco addiction.

Effective and enlightened national policies regarding alcohol, tobacco and
other drug use will require much greater political courage than has been
demonstrated in Washington thus far.

Edward A. Pane President and CEO Serento Gardens: Alcoholism and Drug
Services Hazleton, Pa.

Regarding the Abramson column: Odds are that any given person won't have or
cause a problem with alcohol, so why make policy on the assumption that he
or she will?

Here in San Francisco were I so inclined I could buy heroin or crack cocaine
daily in my block in the Mission. But the San Francisco Police Department is
ignoring that kind of drug trafficking and the violence associated with its

The SFPD has just entered into a cycle of funding a year-long series of
decoy sting operations at local alcohol outlets, intimidating proprietors,
lest they lose their licenses, into demanding identification from all
regardless of age and appearance.

Why can the cops find resources to intimidate legitimate businesses while
ignoring the more risky aspects of law enforcement like busting dealers who
occupy residential neighborhoods to sell hard drugs? Combining the chemical
effects of cocaine and heroin with the side-effects of prohibition make
those drugs far more dangerous to users and those around them than alcohol.

Marc Salomon San Francisco

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Checked-by: Melodi Cornett