Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 1999
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 1999 Burlington Free Press
Contact:  Bob Melamede  Title supplied by editor


While heroin is a dangerous and addictive drug, like tobacco, the only drug
that has in and of it self been associated with violent behavior is
alcohol. The violence that results from illegal drugs is a direct result of
the law.When poorly concieved laws create an artificially inflated value on
an inexpensive item like heroin and drive transactions into a blackmarket,
violence is the result.

This sad, but inescapable fact has been demonstrated during America's bout
with alcohol prohibition, and more recently when the Canadians levied
extrodinary taxes on cigarettes. They had the sense to reduce the taxes as
we had the sense to repeal prohibition. The per capita consumption of
heroin is similar today to what is was when the drug was legal at the turn
of the century.

Most people have, and had, the common sense to not use the drug. Those who
are unfortunate to be addicted should be helped, not further harmed by
criminality. I never hear drug wariors proposing that tobacco should be
made illegal to help people to stop smoking.

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