A lack of common sense

Letter writer calls the war on drugs a waste of time

There’s always something in the news about illegal drugs and the struggle society is having with dealing with them. I said this 40 years ago and I’ve said it many times since, legalization is the only cure.

All of the money spent and pain caused by the war on drugs has netted us nothing but more of the same. When I go downtown here in little old Vernon, I see too many people strung out on drugs and/or alcohol.

Some are old, some are young, all are a burden on the taxpayer. They lead pain-filled lives and often cause harm to others in their never-ending search for the means to their end, getting high. They beg on the street, they steal, they break and enter, they prostitute themselves, beat on one another and often unrelated others, sometimes bad enough to send them to the hospital. They get picked up by the police and ultimately go through the courts which costs we, the people.

Sometimes they’re sent to jail, adding even more to the bill. Usually jail time is fruitless and causes no change in these people. Most of them beg a modest or sometimes, not so modest stipend from the government which, even when they have children, usually gets spent on more drugs. It’s almost as if we are paying them to be drug addicts. It is a pitiful, sordid mess and still we perpetuate it. It’s like a silly soap opera which never ends and has no solution because the problems are the reason for the soap opera in the first place. There is absolutely no common sense at work here.

Every one of these people on the street area already hooked. They are already the problem. Legalization will not make a difference to them. All it will do is make them less of a menace.

Some will even work when they aren’t on the hunt for their drug of choice. Furthermore, legalization will actually give us some power over the problem. Common sense tells me that once it’s out of the hands of the pushers, there will be no point in these people selling the product.

There will probably always be people that will use these substances. Some will try them, use them for awhile then quit and move on to more substantial pursuits. Some will become habitual users. Nobody knows who will go where with it, but obviously these drugs are here to stay. Legalization won’t make them go away but we can save a whole lot of pain and money by allowing them easy access to a clean, reasonably priced product that would pay the government to produce.  It’s that sensible.

There is a hunger deep within our society that these substances address. This is what we need to look at.  Let us stop fighting something that has come to stay and learn how to reduce its size and manage it rather than futilely trying to eradicate it. I’m positive that somewhere in here we would develop preventative power. We can learn the real reasons why people get hooked, then we could start addressing the root.

It is a huge problem and there aren’t any simple answers, but there are answers if we’re ready to look for something that will work. I truly believe that we, the people, could sort this out to the benefit of all concerned.