Drug Controversy Alive and Well in America

Drug Controversy Alive and Well in America
Posted by FoM on December 09, 2000 at 16:08:44 PT
Source: Hobbs News-Sun 
My column last week on Gov. Johnson's Playboy interview on legalizing drugs drew some interesting - and strong - responses. We received numerous e-mails on the matter, most were negative - and strongly so.For example: * "I found your comment about children allowed to go to opium dens stupid and offensive" - Phoenix, Arizona.
* "The history books will place Ralph Damiani along side Stalin" - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.* And my favorite, "Ralph Damiani may have a right to his opinion, but in my opinion he is a narrow minded idiot."And they went on. One writer even went so far as to say that "we have a God-given right to ingest any drug."Interesting.Just goes to show that this a controversial issue. But there were e-mails that went to points that I consider important.* In the past 10 years, one and one-half million Americans have died from the effects of alcohol.* Teen-agers in New Mexico likely have no trouble purchasing a host of dangerous drugs.* The United States has a love affair with drugs, largely the legal, pharmaceutical kind. We have drugs for anything.These are issues worth discussing - and highlight the point of not putting even more, even more dangerous, drugs out for free public consumption.We do not need to say that abuse of alcohol and over-the-counter drugs is all right; we need to say that drug abuse is bad. All drug abuse.How can we say that if we say that cocaine, crack and marijuana are legal, therefore are all right.While we might like to make light of our war on drugs, what is the choice? Yes, our youth - and our adults - have too ready an access to drugs. Why do we want to give them more?Work on education, on treatment and on - yes - enforcement is where we should be putting our efforts. It should not be put into campaigns to make heroin legal.The solution to this matter is to work to take drugs - all drugs - out of the hands of people. It is not to find ways to make it easier to place them in people's hands. Source: Hobbs News-Sun (NM)Published: December 9, 2000Copyright: 2000 Hobbs News-SunAddress: P.O. Box 850, Hobbs, N.M. 88240Fax: (505) 393-5724Contact: editor hobbsnews.comWebsite: Gary Johnson's Home Page Article: Governor Again Embarrasses New Mexico Articles - Governor Gary Johnson 
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Comment #4 posted by Smokeless in Seattle on December 10, 2000 at 04:44:02 PT
Legal does not equal "all right"
Has Mr Damiani not been reading the papers? Tobacco is legal (for now LOL) and many, many people do NOT think it's all right, will NOT use, will NOT allow people to use it in their living rooms. Do these people want to make tobacco and alcohol illegal? Is Nicotine not as (if not MORE) addictive than heroin?Once again, the comparison of apples and oranges is invalid and ridiculous. A friend in NY city tells me that they have cracked down on alcohol sales to minors BIG time, as well as the sale of tobacco products. Oh - and if you're going to allow the sale of tobacco and alcohol at all, two drugs whose ingestion have caused countless deaths, you cant tell me that availability has anything negative to contribute to the public health of the citizens of the USA and the world.SiS
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on December 09, 2000 at 22:32:54 PT
Ralph Damiani
 Ya gotta give Ralph credit for printing some of the more unfavorable responses to his editorial.He seems to at least be open to a coherent discussion on the topic. One of the main problems that Mr Damiani has,is revealed by such statements as;"How can we say that if we say that cocaine, crack and marijuana are legal, therefore are all right." I hate to keep 'whipping a dead horse',but I think that people like Ralph,who lump together marijuana and crack,and then attempt to extrapolate a valid discussion of the legalization issue,are tragicly misinformed.When Mr Damiani,and many others,presuppose,and take as a given,that marijuana is equivalent to crack,their viewpoints become less than valid. The only thing marijuana and crack have in common,is that they are both illegal,and both are inexcusably classified in the same "schedule" category by the DEA.It would be like saying that coffee and vodka are equivalent.I think this is a major factor in the confused discussion on "drugs".I also suspect that this farfetched,unsubstantionated,and inclusive definition of the term "drugs",is a purposeful ploy by the fedearal prohibitionists,and their cohorts,to confuse the public,and maintain the prominence of the law enforcement/prison industry gravy train of financial embellishments. I was going to write Ralph,and give him a taste of my verbose ramblings,,but after I re-read his closing comment;"The solution to this matter is to work to take drugs - all drugs - out of the hands of people. It is not to find ways to make it easier toplace them in people's hands. ",,,I think I'll work on something else....................dddd
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Comment #2 posted by Robbie on December 09, 2000 at 20:16:44 PT:
And again...
Again you miss the point. You're apologizing for saying what you want to say less insultingly, but you're still saying it, "drugs are bad." There are many bad things, and even those are relative.You seem to be hell bent on the notion that humans need to be told how to live. That there must be something wrong with people who take drugs. And who are you to purport to be that moral leader who demands that drugs be "taken out of [people's] hands.""The solution to this matter is to work to take drugs - all drugs - out of the hands of people. " OK! Let's do that! Coffee, Dr. Pepper, cigarrettes, Tylenol, alcohol. . . Let's make sure a doctor is not allowed to distribute these drugs either."Work on education, on treatment and on - yes - enforcement." And - yes - enforcement? Two-thirds of all "drug war" efforts have been on policing and interdiction. This approach has always cost more in the end, and it still doesn't work.The solution is easy...spend all efforts on prevention and treatment. There will be no more "drug problem" when people such as yourself come to realize that your moralizing only serves to create an enemy out of people who's only offense is that they live their life differently than you live yours.
blah blah blah
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Comment #1 posted by defenderoffreeworld on December 09, 2000 at 20:13:09 PT:
its not about drugs being good or bad
its about the right that the people have to do what they shall with their lives, as long as they don't interfere with anyone elses. i'm getting tired of all this crap, especially when the people arguing against drugs are likely to go and get hammered off a bottle of jack daniel's at the end of the day. so let's stop being damn hypocrites about the matter. let people do as they will, for after all, they are not messing with you nor your family, are they?
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