Friday, April 04, 2008

Treat drug use as public health issue, not crime

Treat drug use as a public health issue, not crime

The letter "Funding anti-drug efforts wise investment" seems to be based entirely on opinion. It's naive to believe that criminalizing drug users is effective when one looks at the statistics and consequences.

In 2005, this country spent more than $45 billion on all aspects of the drug war. In 2006, nearly 800,000 Americans were incarcerated for marijuana offenses. Drug convictions inhibit their ability to receive financial aid for college and to find a good job.

I Corinthians 15:33 says "Bad company corrupts good morals." These minor drug offenders are spending their time in the company of murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc.

Drugs may cause some people to commit crimes, but law enforcement should punish the actual crime, not the drug use. If drugs were legal, the black market would vanish and the turf wars would be extinct.

I believe the bottom line is, who owns our body? Do we own our own body? Does the government? Does God? As free Americans, should the government punish us for putting something in our bodies?

The drugs we deem legal -- cigarettes, alcohol and prescription drugs -- combined kill more than 500,000 Americans annually, compared with less than 20,000 deaths annually caused by illicit drug use. (Zero marijuana deaths.)

The war on drugs is inaccurate, it is a war on drug users. It is a shame that our country creates criminals instead of treating drug use as what it is, a public health issue.
Jacob Lee

I don't know Mr. Lee but I was very glad to see his wonderful letter in todays Montgomery Advertiser Opinion section. I wrote this one back in March. A few days later this pro-cop letter appeared as a counter to mine. It wasn't a very good one as it seemed to say that I am naive and misinformed therefore the drug war is working. Huh? I responded on the forums with this but never got a response from the letter writer....or anyone else for that matter. I mean....what can you say to counter facts?

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