Prohibition only way to keep control

Regarding the Wednesday letter, “Legalizing use best way to manage it”:

“Our law enforcement agencies cannot solve the problems created by prohibition. We must find another way.” While I agree with this statement, the writer’s letter is preposterous at best. Law enforcement alone has never been able to significantly stem the tide of smuggled and locally manufactured contraband in the United States. The law of supply and demand will conquer all.

If you accept that we cannot effectively ban the use of illicit drugs by Americans, what makes you think we can “manage” their use to adults only? Alcohol and tobacco are perfect examples of “managed” drugs. Both are available openly and freely to enterprising juveniles willing to ask a simple question, “Hey mister/lady, will you buy something for me?” It happens every day in our communities across this nation. How can we conceivably think that we could manage “through strict regulation and control” marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines or Oxycontin, etc., any better? Prohibition is a strict regulation and control method. Since it doesn’t work perfectly, should we throw it out for less restrictive measures?

Very few law enforcement officers support this theory of controlled regulation proposed by LEAP. Multiple studies show that while prohibition doesn’t work perfectly, the reality is that less of our youth use drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines or oxycontin than drugs managed “through strict regulation and control” such as alcohol and tobacco. The only possible advantage to the writer’s proposal is increased tax revenue. Unfortunately, this will likely be more than offset by lost production/wages and state paid medical expenses for abusers of these highly addictive drugs.

Law enforcement alone has never and will never be the answer to addiction. It will require a wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary approach to determine and resolve issues surrounding drug abusers’ reasons for self-medicating in the first place.

Steve Haley


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