Pubdate: Mon, 13 Sep 1999
Source: Wall Street Journal (NY)
Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Arthur Sobey, Thomas R. Gildersleeve, Hugh Robertson
Note: The original letter was by Randi (not "Robin" Givens). It had
prompted a response from Jim Heim, which has resulted in three more
anti-prohibition rebuttals. 
Original Givens Letter:
Heims Letter:


Jim Heim's regurgitation of reefer madness myths and hysteria (Letters to
the Editor5, Sept. 2), despite the many recent reports (Institute of
Medicine, World Health Organization, etc) that have dispelled them, makes
me wonder which planet he has been on for the past few years. The obvious
answer to his question is, Yes, of course we should "disregard the studies
that have shown that one joint is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes" when
these studies have been thoroughly disproved. The world is slowly waking
up, not only to the relatively benign nature of cannabis, but also to the
fact that the war on drugs is an incredibly expensive failure.

Hugh Robertson
Treasurer, Legalise Cannabis Alliance
Norfolk, U.K.

Mr. Heim wonders who's going to pay for all the medical and social problems
of drug users if drug prohibition is removed. Does he think that because
drugs are currently prohibited these problems don't now exist? We have to
pay these costs regardless. The point of removing prohibition is that it
will remove the cost of the criminal activity now associated with the
underground production and distribution of drugs. In addition, with an open
market, we can begin to realistically assess and take steps to reduce the
use of drugs, just as we now do with the use of tobacco.

Thomas R. Gildersleeve
Norwalk, Conn.

* In criticizing the Letter by Robin Givens, Mr. Heim doesn't seem to
understand that a regulated drug market would sell drugs at reasonable
prices, thus negating the need for the majority of people to resort to
crime to pay for drugs. That is the biggest bonus to a government-regulated
drug market: exponentially lower crime. If whiskey cost $1,400 a quart
today, which was its Prohibition equivalent price in 1925, people would
resort to crime to use alcohol.

The excellent letter by Ms. Givens--who wrote, "It's time to repeal our
lunatic drug laws and install a regulated market for adult drug use that
will eliminate the crime and destruction created by a useless prohibition
scheme"--is as a fragile bloom wasted on a blizzard.

Arthur Sobey 
Norfolk, Neb. 
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