Pubdate: Fri, 27 Aug 1999
Source: Wall Street Journal (NY)
Copyright: 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Dale Gieringer, David C. Fischer, Robin Givens, Randall Hoven


In regard to "Stonewall, Mr. Bush" by Peggy Noonan and "Snow Job: Bush Tries
Not to Inhale" by Paul A. Gigot (editorial page, Aug. 20): It's a shame that
politicians running for high office are hounded to answer questions about
past drug use. But our politicians are the ones who made drug use a felony
in the first place and who continue to push for tougher laws, tougher
sentences and tougher enforcement.

If the war on drugs is serious, then so should be questions about drug
use by the potential commander-in-chief of that war. Maybe someday the
term "crack house" will sound as quaint and harmless as "speakeasy."
But until that day comes, candidates shouldn't gripe when asked if
they inhaled.

Randall Hoven
Alton, Ill.

* Revelations that leading politicians used drugs without harm
disprove the false presumption upon which drug prohibition rests. That
so many leaders in business, entertainment, politics and sports have
used drugs without damage clearly contradicts prohibitionist claims of
death and disaster from use. It's time to repeal our lunatic drug laws
and install a regulated market for adult drug use that will eliminate
the crime and destruction created by a useless prohibition scheme.

Robin Givens
San Francisco



In response to the demand vs. supply controversy about drugs discussed
in Mary Anastasia O'Grady's Aug. 20 Americas column "American
Coke-Heads Underwrite Colombia's Misery": 

* Ms. O'Grady got it exactly right--our drug policies export our
social problems, causing disruption of Third World societies in a
degree far exceeding the harm that drug abuse causes in the U.S.
Faithful adherents of free-market economics must concede that any war
on drugs is unwinnable --the profit motive will always prevail over
any government attempt to squelch it--besides being contrary to the
principles of individual responsibility and freedom of choice.

David C. Fischer
Chappaqua, N.Y.

* It is neither demand nor supply, but our bankrupt policy of
prohibition that is the historical, eradicable root of today's cocaine
problem. At the turn of the century, when cocaine was freely sold over
the counter, there was scarcely a trace of today's cocaine violence,
corruption and scandal. In my grandparents' time, mild coca beverages
were enjoyed and endorsed by the likes of Thomas Edison, President
McKinley and the pope. Restore the free market for coca, at least for
low-potency products, and the cocaine problem will be resolved more
surely, economically and peaceably than by any prohibitionist campaign
against either consumers or dealers.

Dale Gieringer
Berkeley, Calif.

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