Pubdate: Fri, 02 Jul 1999
Source: Meriden Record-Journal, The (CT)
Copyright: 1999, The Record-Journal Publishing Co.
Contact:  11 CrownStreet, P.O. Box 915, Meriden, CT 06450
Fax: (203) 639-0210
Author: Mike Gogulski



Kudos to the Record-Journal for Allan Church's lucid column, "Connecticut
Remedies", 24 June, 1999. Mr. Church touches on some "radioactive" political
ideas he'd implement if he "ran the zoo."

Church suggests that most drug use should be decriminalized, and regulated
like alcohol. Bravo! No amount of prohibition is going to stop drug use, and
the money being wasted on drug law enforcement and incarceration could be
put to much better use in treatment and education.

Politicians don't want to get near such an idea, though, for fear that it
will brand them as "soft on crime." I tend to believe that at least a solid
minority of our politicians believe that regulation and control,
medicalization, and treatment, rather than prohibition, is the proper way
for society to respond to drugs and drug abuse. However, a fervent
conservative minority have succeeded in so polarizing any discussion of drug
policy that to break ranks and suggest anything other than more jails and
more police is viewed as sheerest heresy, and sure political suicide.

It's time for this to end. New Mexico's Governor Gary Johnson this week told
the world he believes that decriminalization and regulation have to be
seriously considered. I believe that his courageous stand is just the first
sloshing of the water over the now-crumbling dam of prohibition.

Soon we will see our own leaders standing up for more common sense policy.



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