Pubdate: Wed, 24 Feb 1999
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Contact:  1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22229
Fax: (703) 247-3108
Author: John G. Chase
Editor's Note: This letter was first posted by mistake as a OPED
                      Headline by editor


So DEA chief Tom Constantine thinks we have neither the 
will nor the resources to win the drug war?

He is wrong. We do have the will and the resources to fight the drug
war, but it must be fought in ways that work.

Is Constantine suggesting that if we we'd really been serious, the
drug war would have been a success? Bum rap. This failure is not a
lack of will of our citizenry;  it is a lack of clear thinking by
Congress and the DEA leadership. Their most basic mistake was trying
to prohibit all "illegal" drugs rather than trying to reduce the
societal damage done by the very few individuals who abuse drugs.

But things may be changing. Barry McGaffrey, our current White House
drug czar, is beginning to talk about the importance of education and
treatment. This is good, but it does not comport with funding provided
by Congress.

If our congressional leaders would just stop their political rhetoric
against the Clinton administration and change their funding
priorities, we could move forward with a program that has a chance for

John G. Chase, 
Palm Harbor Florida
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