Pubdate: Tue, 19 Oct 1999
Date: 10/19/1999
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Author: H. Otto Dahlke

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Our redoubtable Governor Gilmore, issuing ex cathedra pronouncements
against the drug barons, has flung down the gauntlet. Righteous
Gilmore defies these characters in the usual empty platitudes. Who in
the upper echelons of the capitalistic drug market would pay any
attention to this Don Quixote, especially if they reside in Mexico,
Ecuador, or Colombia?

After billions of our taxpayers' dollars and more than 20 years of the
so-called war on drugs, mandatory sentencing, etc., this war has been
a colossal fiasco. So Gilmore, in his wisdom, is ready to assure a
super-botch. What he means to do is ensure that more black males will
recognize their sinful behavior by lengthy terms in prison.

Like all the benighted supporters of the war on drugs, his focus is
wholly on the supply side. It is obvious that there has been no
interruption of the flow of drugs into our country. The payoff in
terms of money and influence makes the enterprise worthwhile. If there
is a demand for some good or service, someone will pop up to supply

As long as the demand for drugs remains full-blown, the drug trade
will continue. The propaganda in the media keeps the focus on
minorities and lower socio-economic classes, and ignores drug usage in
the white middle and upper classes. Gilmore's proposals manifest this
bias. So he contributes nothing but a potential waste of taxpayers'
money. I want my taxes to buy civilization, not this mindless
boondoggle of the war on drugs.

H. Otto Dahlke,