Pubdate: Wed, 11 Aug 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times.
Contact:  (213) 237-4712
Author: Don M. Howard


The sentencing of Robert Downey Jr. to three years in the penitentiary is
just one more example of our barbarous approach to the drug problem in this
country (Aug. 6). Fifty years from now they will look back on these times
and shake their heads in disbelief that we put people in prison for
addiction problems, instead of offering treatment for what is a health not a
criminal problem.

The war on drugs is a total, miserable failure, and you need look no further
back in our history than the pathetic attempt at prohibition of alcohol in
the 1920s to see what a doomed policy it truly is. Prohibition didn't work
then, and it's not working now.

DON M. HOWARD, Oak Hills

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