Pubdate: Wed, 24 Nov 1999
Source: Newsweek International
Copyright: 1999 Newsweek, Inc.
Authors: Frank Scimone, M. Carling, David Humphreys, Britta Van Dun
Note: These PUB LTEs and the Newsweek International introduction refer to
the articles at:

Also: with the words "Americans also joined the chorus, recalling failed
U.S. drug policies." Newsweek International acknowledged the effectiveness
of this clipping service and the related DrugSense FOCUS Alert, which is at:


Letters To The Editor

Our Nov. 1 report on Europe's liberal drug scene drew a large and vehement
response from readers. Some Europeans criticized the story for reflecting
America's "narrow-mindedness" about drugs.

Americans also joined the chorus, recalling failed U.S. drug policies.
While one Colombian wrote: "This problem has to be eliminated from both the
supply and the demand side," others called for legalizing narcotics. Argued
one Briton: "The result is a better product that's even taxable." Europe's
New Drug Culture:


To accept drug use as an undeniable cultural reality, and not an individual
manifestation of criminality, is a step in a the right direction. 

Britta Van Dun, Eymet, France


As a British citizen I will vote for any party brave enough to put reality
ahead of probity. I would prefer to legalize and license the production of
drugs. Why should my children be put at risk by having to deal with the
cockroaches that own the drug market?

The example of the United States and Prohibition may be compared to Britain
and the licensing of gin in the 18th century. Take the product away from
criminals and produce it under controllable quality and distribution--the
result is a better product that's even taxable.

David Humphreys, Hong Kong


Your article asserts that a generation of Europeans use drugs more
pervasively than their predecessors. Not true. Rather, a new generation has
taken up, in relative moderation, softer and socially responsible drugs
such as marijuana and cocaine while eschewing the addictive hard drugs,
such as alcohol and nicotine used by their parents, which kill hundreds of
thousands of nonusers each year. 

M. Carling, Paris, France


The best way to fight drug abuse is not by punishing, jailing or indirectly
causing the death of the addicts, but in the development of intelligent,
convincing and compassionate policies.

Frank Scimone, Taormina, Italy
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