Pubdate:  Fri, 4 Sep 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Author: Alan M. Perlman
Section: Sec. 1, p. 26


HIGHLAND PARK -- The Aug. 27 Page 1 story and John Kass column did an
excellent job of portraying the events and emotions surrounding
Officer Michael Ceriale's death.

Fortunately, there is something we can do to prevent this kind of
senseless tragedy: End the war on drugs.

The simple truth--which politicians will never admit--is that illegal
drugs do not cause violent crime. The only drug that has consistently
been implicated in criminal behavior is alcohol.

As Al Capone taught us so well, it is drug prohibition that causes

Prohibition means artificially high prices, which in turn means
there's a ton of money to be made.

There will always be people with little to lose who will take the

Meanwhile, after decades of government propaganda and persecution,
drug consumption is virtually unchanged.

And because the drugs are illegal, dealers can't go to court to settle
their disputes over markets, territories and payment. Hence, violence.

No one wants kids using (or adults abusing) drugs, but there are many
alternatives to prohibition, and we should be exploring them.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman has estimated that the
drug war is responsible for 5,000 to 10,000 deaths each year. Some of
that blood is on the hands of every government official who defends
this disastrous policy.

Alan M. Perlman
- ---
Checked-by: Patrick Henry