Wrong Approach to Fighting Drugs
My LTE response was printed today in the Mobile Register.
The wrong approach to fighting drugs
This letter is in response to the article, "27 percent of Baldwin students used drugs" (Nov. 19).
This article is a classic example of how prohibition fails our children. For more than 30 years, our country has fought the "drug war" with no noticeable gains.
Millions of American citizens locked in prison, billions of dollars spent federalizing the local police, millions of lives destroyed -- what we have given up as far as the Bill of Rights and privacy is immeasurable. Today drugs are more widely available than ever before.
Yet almost daily, we see stories like this one. Despite that, most people will clamor loudly that we need more funding for police, more funding for school drug-testing, more funding for DARE and the loss of more of our rights.
I would like to remind people that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Let's face it. People have been fooled into paying for their worst nightmare. Perhaps they do not realize it. Maybe fear keeps them from thinking rationally.
Prohibition does not keep kids away from drugs. In fact, it does just the opposite. Because of prohibition criminals control the market.
But the most frightening aspect of the drug war as it relates to children is that if we allow prohibition to continue, then it is our children who will be the next generation of prison inmates. Are you willing to allow the government to sacrifice your kids in order to keep from admitting that it has been wrong all along? I'm not.
It is time to try a new approach to drugs altogether -- perhaps one that does not involve law enforcement or the criminal (in)justice system, as neither of those institutions is equipped to properly deal with a health and social issue.