I Got Published!
October 23, 2006 - Arizona Republic (AZ)
Fill The Jails, Fail The Victims
Voters: Beware of unintended consequences
and vote "no" on Proposition 301. If this proposition
passes, it would deny hundreds of people the opportunity for
drug treatment and would clog our prisons with more non-violent
A study was done recently in Nebraska for
the Department of Correctional Services (reported in The Republic).
It showed that the get-tough meth law that took effect there
last year, combined with normal expected growth in the prison
population, will require many additional prison beds and will
Where will the funding come from for the
Arizona Department of Corrections if this proposition passes?
Treatment for all addicts is far more cost-effective
than incarceration, and certainly more humane. The 1996 voter-approved
Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act, which provides
probation and treatment for low-level drug offenders, must continue
to be honored. And it has saved millions of tax dollars.
Let's give low-level, non-violent meth
users the chance to participate in a successful, proven drug
treatment program. Don't discriminate. Meth addiction is treatable.
Judges already have the authority to sentence all violent offenders
to prison. It is overzealous prosecutors who want to further
their conviction rate for political purposes that have convinced
legislators to re-write the original voter-approved initiative.
In 1996, Arizona voters got it right the
Roma Thomas, Sun City West
December 3, 2006 - St. Petersburg Times
A Futile Fight
Since Milton Friedman's death last month,
I have searched major U.S. online newspapers for opinion pieces
about his stand against the drug war and found nothing, except
a column by Robyn Blumner.
How can the mainstream media write reams
about the successes of his many policy recommendations but ignore
this one? Do they believe the drug war is a success, that his
stand against the drug war was his one mistake?
No. I think they know the drug war is bad
policy, but it has been going on so long that it supports the
careers, stock portfolios and campaign contributions of many
well-placed people. Simply put, the drug war is too controversial
for most columnists, editorial writers and publishers.
John Chase, Palm Harbor
December 10, 2006 - St. Petersburg Times
Re: Remember Alcohol, Dec. 3, Letter
Life with legalized drugs is bad, but life
with prohibition is even worse.
The writer could have made his case even
stronger by reminding us that national prohibition of alcohol
was accompanied by reduced death rates from alcoholism and cirrhosis
of the liver (See Dr. Clark Warburton's 1932 book The Economic
Results of Prohibition).
So what were Americans thinking when they
ended national Prohibition? Consider this, from the 1930 resolution
of the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform:
"... National Prohibition, wrong
in principle, has been equally disastrous in consequences in
the hypocrisy, the corruption, the tragic loss of life and the
appalling increase of crime which have attended the abortive
attempt to enforce it; in the shocking effect it has had upon
the youth of the nation; in the impairment of constitutional
guarantees of individual rights; in the weakening of the sense
of solidarity between the citizen and the government, which is
the only sure basis of a country's strength."
Those women knew life was better and safer
with legal alcohol than life with illegal alcohol because they'd
lived it both ways. They learned that driving a popular drug
underground causes more societal damage than it prevents.
Priscilla M. Chase, Palm Harbor