Europe's Highs and Lows 

Europe's Highs and Lows 
Posted by FoM on November 24, 1999 at 07:03:31 PT
Letters To The Editor
Source: Newweek International
Our Nov. 1 report on Europe's liberal drug scene drew a large and vehement response from readers. Some Europeans criticized the story for reflecting America's "narrow-mindedness" about drugs. 
Americans also joined the chorus, recalling failed U.S. drug policies. While one Colombian wrote: "This problem has to be eliminated from both the supply and the demand side," others called for legalizing narcotics. Argued one Briton: "The result is a better product that's even taxable."Europe's New Drug Culture:Your Nov. 1 report "Europe just says Maybe" clearly shows the soft position that many European countries are taking on drugs (Europe). a Colombian living in Berlin, I have seen the drug problem from the suppliers' side, as well as the consumers' side. While in Europe "drugs are being normalized" and consumption is rising, the war in Colombia is worsening and the drug business thriving. Everybody knows that this problem has to be eliminated from both the supply and the demand side. But considering the Europeans' attitude to drugs, it seems they have forgotten their part of the problem. We in Colombia, however, are reminded of it every day.Cesar AminBerlin, GermanyTo accept drug use as an undeniable cultural reality, and not an individual manifestation of criminality, is a step in a the right direction.Britta Van DunEymet, FranceAs a British citizen I will vote for any party brave enough to put reality ahead of probity. I would prefer to legalize and license the production of drugs. Why should my children be put at risk by having to deal with the cockroaches that own the drug market? The example of the United States and Prohibition may be compared to Britain and the licensing of gin in the 18th century. Take the product away from criminals and produce it under controllable quality and distribution—the result is a better product that's even taxable.David HumphreysHong KongI read your story on Europe's getting high with great interest. As a young European, however, I felt compelled to share my point of view. Drugs are indeed a big problem in Europe, and now that we hardly have any borders it isn't getting easier. But that doesn't mean that everybody under 25 welcomes drugs with open arms. Many of us have seen the effects of drug abuse and what it can do to a person—and that's why we say no to drugs.Laura LindholmTurku, FinlandYour feature on drugs in europe reminded me of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" (1932). In this totalitarian dystopia people survive the complete eradication of the self by taking controlled drug "vacations," in a manner eerily similar to the ecstasy weekends popular among today's European white-collar workers. Maybe the campaigners for legalization are not as free-spirited and freethinking as they believe?Robert Killian-DawsonLondon, EnglandIt's amazing that so many young people are concerned about environmental pollution while another aspect of chemical pollution of human organisms—through the use of synthetic and other drugs—is accepted and considered normal.Lubomin P. MaxaCopenhagen, DenmarkYour article asserts that a generation of Europeans use drugs more pervasively than their predecessors. Not true. Rather, a new generation has taken up, in relative moderation, softer and socially responsible drugs such as marijuana and cocaine while eschewing the addictive hard drugs, such as alcohol and nicotine used by their parents, which kill hundreds of thousands of nonusers each year.M. CarlingParis, FranceThe best way to fight drug abuse is not by punishing, jailing or indirectly causing the death of the addicts, but in the development of intelligent, convincing and compassionate policies.Frank ScimoneTaormina, ItalyWhich continent popularized and promoted drugs back in the '60s? What nationality were Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix? Where did Woodstock take place? Weren't there any drugs there?Anne SolvignonMilan, ItalyThe fortunate ones are those who realize that there's no need for drugs. The best highs in life are natural.Chris LeonardLa Canada, CaliforniaYour report on Prague's drug scene was quite accurate, but I have to point out two mistakes. There is no river named "the Vlasta River" in the Czech Republic, but rather the Vltava River., although you got pot-legalization advocate and journalist Jiri Dolezal's name right by the featured photo he took for Spectrum Pictures, you misspelled his name in the text.Jaroslav PleslPrague, Czech RepublicNewsweek International, November 29, 1999 Related Articles:Europe Just Says Maybe - 10/29/99 Just Say 'Maybe' - 10/28/99 Case Against Legalization - 10/28/99 
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