When someone uses pot or heroin in the privacy of their home, they owe me nothing. It is their life. No apology is needed. Nor do I owe them a prison cell. I have a life, too.
Begun in 1971 by Richard Nixon, the War on Drugs is a trillion dollar failure. We have more people behind bars in the United States than any other country -- half- million for drug crimes. Nothing has been accomplished except for the waste of young lives, as they are rehabilitated into long-term criminals by their fellow inmates.
By pushing drugs into black markets, we have created drug gangs, drug lords and more street crime as junkies steal purses to finance their next expensive hit. We have destabilized entire nations. Privileged lazy Americans want to fix our drug problem by exporting it and our self-righteous values to Mexico and Columbia.
Americans only need to look at Prohibition and cigarettes to see a better way. If you regulate it, tax it and tolerate it for responsible, consenting, educated adults -- then corruption, street crime, prison populations, and governmental waste will all decline. And if history is a guide, drug abuse will dwindle as well.
-- LARRY LANG, Richland