Pubdate: Sat, 29 May 1999
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company
Page: S 25
Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071
Author: Gerald Sutliff
Note: This is the 43d PUB LTE by Jerry about to go into our published
letters archive! Friends, if you write enough LTEs, you will be published!
See LTE writing tips at:
Also: The referenced OPED is at:

Warriors' Cry

In his excellent May 2 op-ed column, David Broder inadvertently
repeats the drug warriors' propaganda. He writes, "It long has been
known that drug abuse is the major factor in swelling our prison and
jail population almost to 2 million." There is a great difference
between drug use and drug abuse.

Somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 (or more) of those drug "abuse"
prisoners were arrested for marijuana possession. As stated in the
Institute of Medicine's report on medical use of marijuana,
marijuana's potential for abuse is doubtful or at most slight.
Marijuana's addictive powers are, for most people, nonexistent,
therefore no treatment is necessary.

It's the War on Drugs that is filling our prisons and costing us all
billions and much of the Bill of Rights.

Nevertheless, drug addiction often requires treatment, and America
regards drug addiction as a serious problem. For that reason funding
for "treatment on demand" should be commensurate with our level of
concern. May I suggest $17 billion per year? That sum is the official
budget for the War on Drugs.

- -- Gerald Sutliff
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake