Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Seattle Times: Opinion: Time for a new strategy in the war on drugs

'Is it Time to End the War on Drugs?'

The King County Bar Association gave that title to a report in 2001, and now has put out a study that answers, yes. The study, 'Effective Drug Control,' argues that the use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs be considered health problems instead of crimes, and that government manage, inform and help people instead of putting them in prison.

Many will scoff at this liberal-Seattle idea, but there is realism in it. Making drugs illegal does not make them go away. You can get them. Kids can get them. Our government conducts 'war' on the suppliers, but the supply is created by the demand.

The meaning of our law, says Roger Goodman, director of the bar association's Drug Policy Project, is that 'we have chosen to buy our drugs from criminal gangs.'

It's a dangerous form of distribution. In illegal markets, quality and purity are subject to error and trickery, which to the user of some drugs may be lethal. Business competition may also be lethal.

These deaths are an effect of prohibition, not of drugs. Jack Cole, the former cop who founded Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said: 'When was the last time you heard of two Bud distributors shooting each other?'

Of course, users of drugs � or of beer � may commit crimes. Drug users ruin their marriages, neglect their kids, lose their jobs, lose their homes and dissipate their health. Others manage it."

[this, published yesterday, demonstrates the interesection between LEAP and Seattle, relevent to the Sister City of Christchurch, see .)
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