War on Drugs backlash | AspenTimes.com

War on Drugs backlash

After reading Mr. Schaffer’s comments about his personal brand of Republicanism, I was moved to write and ask him if he’s given any real thought to his viewpoint on “illegal” drug users, or if the limbotomy has taken hold too deeply for that?

A pharmacist friend informed me that cocaine and heroin cost pennies per gram to manufacture and, obviously, marijuana can be grown for next to nothing; yet I’m told the street prices for cocaine can be close to $800 and an ounce of pot can be $200 to $300!

President Nixon officially started the war on drug users and addicts around 1972 or so, and now, 30 years later, it’s beginning to sink in, even to the thickest, that imprisoning people for this self-abuse doesn’t cure addiction or change behavior. In fact, the opposite has been true, just like we learned in Economics 101 – as the penalties and risk have increased so has the street value.

Consequently, Mr. Schaffer’s simplistic, feel-good action plan to lock `em all up turns out today to be the main reason for the U.S. illegal drug market now being among the primary economic supports of terrorism worldwide. Conversely, if addiction and use were decriminalized, all the profit and economic motivation would disappear immediately, as happened with liquor prices the day after Prohibition was repealed.

The message currently being sent to our kids by Schaffer’s philosophy is that we’d rather punish people for what is essentially a medical problem – at any cost – than help people that want help. I much preferred his closing statement about fighting to prevent more government interference in our lives!

Rick Hilleary

Glenwood Springs