Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Pubdate: Sun, 20 Sept 1998
Author: Geoffrey Abbott, Conder


DIDN'T little Johnny Howard get his dander up when the Opposition suggested
he was responsible for the increase in drugs (and decrease in price) of
drugs on the street. Pity the ABC interviewer messed it up a bit and it
wasn't properly pursued.

Let's do some sums. John Howard and his economic-rationalist mates cut
funding to the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Customs Service and
of course all other government departments and agencies.

The criminals, on the other hand, unfettered by conscience and legislation
and aided by the decrease in personnel attempting to reduce their illegal
trade, are having a field day.

Because there are now more drugs freely availab1e, the price has come down
to such an extent that I believe it's cheaper to buy heroin than marijuana.
This, of course, leads to more people experimenting with harder drugs and
the obvious tragic consequences when things go wrong.

John Howard is indeed responsible for the increase in the drug trade because
he chose to cut funding to those very organisations whose job it was to
reduce it. As for his "Just say no" campaign, it, like Mr Howard is a relic
of the past.

Hold your head up Mr Howard, it would be hard to find a prime minister who
was more divisive, more mean-spirited and has done less for the country.

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Checked-by: Don Beck