Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Drug Legalization Is the Wrong Answer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Drug Legalization Is the Wrong Answer

Article excerpt

What is the war on drugs really about? Answer: Our children's and our nation's destiny. Legalization proponents are the champions of the '60s counterculture. Their "anything goes if it feels good" mind-set flies in the face of the logical consequences of psychoactive drug usage.

This nation currently has a drug problem comparable to a three-alarm fire. Bad, yes, but still fightable. Legalization, on the other hand, would turn our communities into a firestorm.

Our main thrust must be education and prevention. Next come law enforcement and incarceration, plus interdiction and treatment.

I support treatment initiatives, but they should not be our main emphasis. As Robert E. Peterson said on Feb. 2 about those who say we can win the drug war by reducing law enforcement and focusing our resources on treatment, "If so, it would be the first time any nation won a war by treating the wounded."

Professor Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and dean of the H. John Heinz School of Public Policy and Management is on a mission to warn the country about the deadly combination of kids, crack and guns. He says the level of violence will very likely go off the charts in the late '90s when our juvenile population increases by 30 percent.

I recently attended a school-law enforcement meeting in northern Madison County on gangs. A middle-school principal informed those in attendance that, for the first time, she was seeing "gang-banger" recruitment of white- and black-male sixth graders.

Predators will continue to finance their activities by selling or giving drugs to sixth graders or even younger children. Thousands will die by their hands and millions will be held hostage by their activities.

Do we capitulate, pay tribute, hunker down, migrate to Canada or provide convoluted reasons for legalizing criminal urban gangs?

Of course not! We fight to win, and we win by fighting.

Legalization would mean more domestic violence, more crack babies and more vehicular homicides. …

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