Pubdate: Fri, 24 Dec 1999
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 1999 Houston Chronicle
Contact:  Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210-4260
Fax: (713) 220-3575
Page: 23A (op-ed page)
Author: W. C. Burton Jr.
Note: Bill Burton is the chair of the DPFT speakers bureau


Congratulations on the Chronicle's Dec. 16 editorial, "Another way"
about the drug problem. Surely, the "war on drugs" is lost, and
regardless of the money we expend, it will continue to be a hopeless

As we learned in basic economics, if there's a demand, there will be a
supply. Creating more border guards, conducting illegal searches and
seizures, involving our armed forces and even wiping out drug crops in
other countries has done little to stop the flow of drugs into the
United States.

In Texas alone, more than 60 percent of those in our prisons are
guilty of some sort of nonviolent drug offense. Prison construction
has become a leading industry!

As we should have learned from the Prohibition of alcohol, the current
drug war does not reduce adolescent drug use, does not reduce the
supply of drugs, does not reduce the harm caused by drugs and does not
reduce official corruption.

The only answer is strict regulation and treating drug abuse as a
medical problem rather than a criminal one.

W. C. Burton Jr., 
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