This sums up the American war on drugs, nicely

By RunRedFox · Jun 12, 2007 · ·
  1. RunRedFox
    Gov't uses drug woes as scapegoat
    Editorial - Monday, June 11, 2007 @ 09:00

    Re: Cops target drug scene (Packet & Times, May 17)

    Why do governments prohibit certain drugs?

    Is it to reduce the number of people using the drugs?

    No, that can't be the reason because usage seems to have skyrocketed. Before marijuana was prohibited, hardly anyone used it. Now, it is difficult to find anyone who has not used it.

    Is it to protect users from harm?

    No, that can't be the reason because users suffer more when a drug is banned as compared to when it is legally available.

    My wife and I became well acquainted with this aspect of government policy when we lost our 19-year-old son to street heroin in 1993. Many more people died from the effects of bad booze during Prohibition than when alcohol was legally available. The harm argument is moot in any event because two of our more dangerous drugs - alcohol and tobacco - are legal.

    Is it to reduce the crime associated with illegal drugs?

    No, that can't be the reason because banning a drug always gives rise to more crime (drug cartels, petty crimes by users as prohibition makes drug prices much higher, violent disputes between dealers, etc.) than when the drug is legally available.

    Is it to distract and entertain the majority by ruining the lives of the innocent minority who ingest or sell certain drugs? BINGO!

    In short, drugs are highly useful, functional and beneficial scapegoats. They provide a ruling class with fig leaves to place over the unsightly social ills that are endemic to the social system over which they preside.

    Alan Randell

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  1. RunRedFox
    Another nice opinion peice on the topic...,0,1459440.story?coll=sfla-news-letters

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]`War on Drugs' can't defeat law of supply and demand[/FONT]

    Kirk Muse
    Mesa, Ariz.
    Posted May 21 2007

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial, Helvetica]Re your thoughtful May 14 editorial, "War on Drugs": The war on drugs was lost before it began.

    No matter how much money we throw down the drug war rat hole, we will never be able to nullify the immutable law of supply and demand.

    As long as people want recreational drugs and are willing to pay a substantial price for them, somebody will produce these drugs and somebody else will get them to the willing buyers.

    This we can guarantee.

    And almost all of our so-called drug-related crime is caused by our drug prohibition policies -- not the drugs themselves.

    If we re-legalized all our illegal drugs so that they could be sold by licensed and regulated businesses for pennies per dose, would this eliminate our drug problems? No.

    However, doing so would substantially reduce the crime rate and increase public safety.

    Will we ever be able to eliminate our drug problems? No. However, we can substantially reduce the harm caused by our illegal drugs.

    Regulated and controlled drugs would be of known purity, known potency and known quality -- which would make them very much safer than today's black-market drugs.

    But what message would we send to children if we legalized all illegal drugs so they could be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments?

    The same message we send to children today when we allow products such as alcohol and tobacco to be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments.

    A free country's government cannot protect its adult citizens from themselves.

    A free country's government has no right to attempt to do so.
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