Pubdate: Tue, 9 Mar 1999
Source: NT News (Australia)
Fax: +61 8 8981 6045
Author: G. Payne


THE letter prominently titled "Get Tough with drug problem", (6/3/99),
requires comment.

Firstly, the tough approach that vilifies and persecutes the end user, is a
dismal failure.

After nearly three decades, that I am conscious of, a staggering amount of
taxpayer's funds have been poured into this bottomless pit. It has spawned
an industry, that demands ever expanding funding as the corruption within it

Secondly, the sarcastic comment about the "innocence" of the drug user is a
term commonly used by this lobby.

The "no one forced them to take drugs in the first place" line could be
discussed in a little more detail.

Hopelessness, unemployment, depression and a perception of intolerance in
the community all contribute to an environment that is profitable for

Who is "innocent" of trying to escape reality through drug abuse?

Not even I. Once caught in this web of criminal activity the road back into
mainstream society is impeded by this hatred and intolerance.

In the face of this, the drug user loses respect for a community which shuns

The problem is exacerbated.

People will be vulnerable and criminals will exploit that vulnerability
while certain sections of the community insist on maintaining the rage.

An answer could lie in an acceptance that people will suffer damage through
criminal opportunism.

Reducing the opportunity for criminal profit on vulnerable individuals is an
avenue so far avoided and indeed, vigorously opposed.

It raises questions about the extent of this criminal influence.

G. Payne, Humpty Doo

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