Pubdate: Mon, 04 Oct 1999
Date: 10/04/1999
Source: Ogdensburg Advance News (NY)
Author: Nicolas Eyle
Note: Nicolas Eyle is Executive Director of Reconsider
NOTE: The Ogdensburg Advance News accepts LTEs by mail only, must be signed
with phone number

To the Editor;

Your editorial ("Who is Dangerous? 9/23/99) is very

On one hand you seem to be trying to say that drugs cause violence and
therefore the people in question need to be in prison to make our
society safe. On the other hand, every single example you used to make
your case clearly shows that the violence you are concerned about is
caused , not by the drugs, but by the prohibition of those drugs.
"Addicts" who rob or steal to get money to buy drugs are not robing
and stealing because they are high. They are robbing and stealing
because of the artificially high prices of these drugs created by
prohibition. We should have learned this lesson from the last time we
tried drug prohibition in this country, alcohol prohibition in the
1930's, but , obviously, too many of us didn't. Al Capone didn't kill
people because he was drunk, he killed people because of money.

Money he could make because alcohol was illegal.

As for the stories you cite about physical damage caused by illegal
drugs, no doubt some are true.  Abuse, of ANY drug, is bad.  I will
let the doctors argue about which is more harmful to the body, alcohol
or marijuana, or cocaine but I would like to point out an interesting
statistic. The number of deaths caused by illegal drugs each year is
in the neighborhood of three thousand. (I'm only talking about deaths
resulting from the drug itself, not getting shot in a dispute over
drug profits or some other related cause). Three thousand deaths from
drugs that are not regulated as to their purity.

Those who take them are not taking them under a doctors supervision
and dosage is not indicated on the label .

To obtain a legal drug you need to consult a highly trained physician
who examines you and prescribes a drug which you buy from a licensed
pharmacy, who sells you packaged medicines that are FDA approved as to
their purity and strength.

The resulting deaths total about one hundred and sixty five thousand
per year ! This has to at least make you reconsider whether perhaps
the dangers of illegal drugs have been exaggerated.

Nicolas Eyle,
Executive Director
ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy
205 Onondaga Ave.
Syracuse, New York 13207-1439