Incarcerating Drug Offenders! 

Incarcerating Drug Offenders! 
Posted by FoM on March 08, 1999 at 06:52:46 PT

Many powerful organizations and individuals on either side of the law profit hugely, both directly and indirectly, and studies also warn that the banking industry would falter should drugs be decriminalized. 
 Robert Scheer's "Incarceration Won't Solve Drug Problem" (Commentary, March 2) misses the main point. According to a U.N. study, illicit drugs account for more than 10% of all world trade; this makes the drug business bigger than that of either automobiles or textiles.   As long as the U.S. is the chief architect of international policy, the status quo will be maintained. The "war on drugs" is more a war for drugs. It's all about business, and anyone bleating about saving the lives of our young is either deliberately misleading the public or living in cloud-cuckoo-land.   NIK GREEN, Isla Vista   Scheer stated that incarceration won't solve the drug problem. He may be right, but incarceration will keep us from being victimized by the same drug addicts over and over again. Drug addicts are the burglars, robbers and thieves among us. Treatment success rates are dismal for rock cocaine and heroin users.   Scheer also suggests that rock (crack) and powder cocaine have the same effect on the body. Ask users of rock and they will tell you that the high produced by rock is infinitely more intense than that produced by powder. The bottom line is an infinitely more dangerous and addictive drug.   As a police officer, I support efforts to increase treatment and incarceration of drug addicts.   DAN ROBBINS, Rancho Palos Verdes   Scheer described the failure of society's desperate efforts to throw off the incubus of crack babies and dope-related crime. However, those who flout our laws must expect punishment. If the incarceration of addicts is of doubtful value, then let's substitute a mandatory sentence of treatment for jail. And in lieu of this kind of offender, fill our jails with the armed misfits who prey on decent citizens.
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