Pubdate: Sat, 3 July 1999
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 1999 The Washington Post Company
Address: 1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071
Author: Aleksandar Perovic
Note: Czar McCaffrey's OPED was the target of the DrugSense FOCUS alert at:


In his June 29 op-ed "Don't Legalize Those Drugs," drug czar Barry
McCaffrey claims that addictive drugs were criminalized because they are
harmful, not the other way around. This argument hardly holds up against
the large body of scientific research showing that neither are all
addictive drugs illegal nor are all illegal drugs per se addictive. Indeed,
there is no sound scientific basis for considering alcohol, nicotine and
numerous psychiatric medicines to be less harmful, addictive or
violence-inducing than "illicit" drugs. 

It must be added that the evidence shows that prohibitionist drug policies
are unsuitable instruments for curbing drug use or destructive behavior and
in fact aggravate health problems of drug users. Contrary to McCaffrey's
claims, the long history of drug prohibition shows that criminalization
itself tends to provoke more health and crime problems than it can possibly

- -- Aleksandar Perovic
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