December 14, 2007 - Florida Times-Union (FL)
Illegal Drugs: Treat the Addicted
This is in response to Tonyaa Weathersbee's
Dec. 10 column.
It is easy for us to hate Henry Manns, the
dealer of drugs, just as we hated Ted Bundy, Florida's murderer
of young women.
The system could deal with Bundy, but it can't
deal with Manns.
The difference between Manns and Bundy is
that Manns' customers are willing buyers; Bundy's "customers"
were not asking to be murdered.
It is the fatal flaw of drug war logic. Even
executing Mann would not reduce drug use, because there are other
dealers waiting impatiently to take his place.
The drug war has been building for almost
100 years. It escalated sharply after 1930 with Harry Anslinger's
zeal to stamp out certain drugs by punishing anyone who used
or sold them.
When it didn't work as advertised, Nelson
Rockefeller, then Richard Nixon and then Ronald Reagan stepped
up the war.
Academics predicted failure at each step,
but they were ignored.
If Americans continue to wage the drug war
against dealers and casual users, rather than treating those
who are truly addicted, Abraham Lincoln will have been proved
wrong: It really is possible to fool all the people all the time.
John Chase, Palm Harbor, FL