Sunday, April 09, 2006

"War on drugs has failed." Well, duh.

delawareonline � The News Journal � Letang says war on drugs has failed

A retired prosecutor admits there are no winners in this war. Peter N. Letang said, "Huge profits mean there is always someone willing to sell drugs."

I thought huge profits was the American Way. Hopefully, of course, without destroying other people. That is, indeed, the tricky part.

The key is to understand why people take drugs. Rather, why people have problems taking drugs, because everyone takes drugs. (Try to get through a bad cold without some.) And I do believe it's the people, not the drugs. Or everyone who has had surgery, or a tooth pulled, or any number of other conditions requiring strong narcotics, would then be addicted. If it was the drugs.

Letang casts his disenchantment with the present conditions in economic terms: "If we can take away from your need to pay for a $500-a-day or $200-a-day habit, if we can reduce that to 10 bucks, then you'd hit a lot less people over the head or steal a lot fewer cars than you are now."

How breathtakingly realistic.

There are places where people spend $10 a day on coffee. Which is a drug. (And don't we all know someone who just might hit us over the head to get some on one of those draggy mornings?) So what you have is a person who will do all kinds of things to get their drug of choice, only some of them don't have to.

I agree that improper drug use can destroy lives. But the present approach shows no interest in keeping damage to a minimum. We allow people to take cold medicine and possibly operate heavy machinery.

What is the difference?

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