Sunday, February 08, 2009

End Drug War

I had a letter published in today's Times Daily out of Florence.


End drug war

Published: Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 9:31 p.m.

In response to "Drug units notch 500 arrests" Jan. 25, if the drug war was working then arrests should be going down to the point of nonexistence because no one would be selling or using drugs. But, every year there are more arrests and more drugs, which is a pretty clear indication that drug prohibition has failed and will continue to fail.

I'd like to ask readers to name one stated objective of the drug war that has been achieved in the 70+ years that we have had drug prohibition.

Has locking up adults who use responsibly kept kids or other adults from smoking pot or using harder drugs?

Has the flow of drugs into our country been reduced or eliminated altogether?

Are drugs harder for children to get?

Has the purity of drugs decreased?

Has the spread of disease from sharing dirty needles been eliminated?

Has prison worked as a cure for drug addiction?

How much can police forces and drug task forces really want to wipe out drugs when their livelihoods depend on the continued existence of drugs?

Drugs will never be eliminated from our societies. Never in history has prohibition worked. Drug use and addiction are health and social issues that should not be addressed from a criminal justice perspective. We have more than 30,000 people in the Alabama prison system built for 12,000. Thirty percent of inmates are there for drug related offenses. Fifty percent of all drug arrests in Alabama are for simple possession of marijuana for personal use. The drug war has turned our police forces into militarized SWAT teams with automatic weapons and flash bang grenades and it has destroyed our Constitution. Yet it has done nothing to stop people from using drugs.

It's time to end the drug war, which is really a war on American people.

Loretta Nall
Alexander City


Phil said...

Symbiotic relationships exist between politicians, law enforcement, and the so-called drug lords. Each group lends power to the other two.

Politicians could end the drug war by changing existing drug laws; law enforcement could end the drug war by refusing to uphold existing drug laws; neither group will act to end the drug war until the public wises up and rises up to demand that they do.

Weaning from the teat of taxpayer largesse is neither an easy nor hasty process, but for as long as lawmakers and law enforcers create and support black market conditions, enterprising entrepreneurs will continue to fill black market demands.

Loretta Nall said...

I couldn't agree more Phil.
Perhaps this will help bring the drug war to a faster conclusion.