Drug use should be treated as an illness and not a crime
Clarence Page’s Sunday column, “Let’s kick the ‘new Jim Crow’ out the door,” only addresses part of the problem. Putting people in prison for drug offenses is a senseless means of controlling the consumption of drugs. Nothing that we have done has affected the increasing use of drugs. It is time to try a new strategy.
Legalize the drugs and treat them the way we treat cigarettes and alcohol. Prohibition did not work, and we are still suffering from the aftermath of that experiment. It was the foundation of ongoing organized crime.
Legalizing the drugs and selling them the way we sell cigarettes and/or alcohol would discourage people from becoming drug dealers. People would no longer find attracting people to become addicts a profitable business.
Drugs like cocaine and heroin are produced in foreign countries and yield high income to the distributors. This industry is a major source of revenue for many of the terrorist groups. Legalizing the drugs would reduce the income provided to the terrorist groups. This would reduce some of the ongoing mayhem in the world.
We spend a phenomenal amount of money interdicting the flow of drugs to this country and imprisoning drug dealers and drug users, but we have not been successful. If we made the use of narcotics and similar drugs legal and spent this money on marketing to the public that drugs are harmful, I think you would see a much lower rate of consumption and a lower rate of incarceration.
It seems to be working for cigarettes.
Drug use should be treated as an illness and not a crime.
— Jerrold P. Katz, ChicagoCopyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune