Legalization is the Only Solution to Drug Epidemic

Legalization is the Only Solution to Drug Epidemic
Posted by FoM on May 18, 2000 at 05:18:45 PT
Letter To The Editor By Rev. H.W. Skipper 
Source: Mountain Xpress
We are told that there is an epidemic of drug use in this country. Certainly this is true: From aspirin to Prozac, Valium to Viagra, alcohol to nicotine, everyone uses drugs. We use drugs to modify our state of mind and improve our health. We use them to feel better and to help us enjoy life. 
We, as a species, have been using herbs and their derivatives since the dawn of history. This is natural, and can be seen in many other animal species. In this country, certain drugs are illegal. Many people go to jail for doing what comes naturally to them. Is the answer simply to build more prisons? Obviously not, because even in prisons there is still abuse of illegal drugs. If we cannot eliminate drugs from prisons, how can we expect to eliminate them in an otherwise free society? The real threat from illegal drugs comes from the criminal culture that has been created by the black market. It is common knowledge that drugs are more available now than ever before, despite the best efforts of law enforcement. This is because of the enormous profits to be had and the fact the people will use drugs regardless of the law. It doesn't matter if you arrest a drug dealer, because there will always be someone willing to take his place and make that money. There is only one solution: legalize drugs. In this way, we can eliminate the profits to be had and so eliminate the black market. We would be able to have more control over drug use  and some control is better than no control. We could then tax drugs like alcohol and tobacco, and use the money to fund prevention programs. We could save the money we would have needed for new prisons and use it to educate people, instead of imprison them. We should treat individual drug abuse as a sickness, not a criminal offense. If this sounds radical, it is only because we have strayed so far from the ideals on which this country was founded. Our forefathers gave us the ideal of a right to the pursuit of happiness. Many of them grew and used plants which are now outlawed. Would we imprison George Washington because he smoked a joint to ease the pain of having wooden teeth?  Rev. H.W. Skipper Dallas, TexasPublished: May 18, 20002000 Mountain XpressAsheville, NCRelated Articles & Web Sites:Marijuana Legalization & Drug Policy Information Articles On Legalization:
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