Drug war pointless

by Keith Lawrence

Mathew ChirhartâÄôs Oct. 21 letter in defense of the war on drugs is uninformed and ill-prepared. The author states, âÄú[The legalization of] marijuana is one thing because the damage inflicted is comparable to alcohol.âÄù This is false. MarijuanaâÄôs inflicted damage is far less than alcohol. One kills people; the other does not. The author continues, stating âÄúâĦ when prohibition ended, did it end the production of moonshine?âÄù No, but it did drastically reduce its production. Criminal enterprises no longer rely on moonshine production for revenue. When is the last time you heard about law enforcement busting a moonshine still? How about a meth lab? The author then suggests that drug lords wonâÄôt just âÄúwalk away when [the] government steals their customer base.âÄù What choice would they have? Who would risk buying drugs from a street vendor in a dark alley when they could buy purer, cheaper drugs from a well-lit and secure dispensary? Do people buy whiskey from strangers in dark alleys or do they go to liquor stores? The authorâÄôs underestimation of the power and efficiency of big pharma to capitalize on a new market is naïve. Drug lords would have no choice but to lose money, and thus also guns and manpower. But logical arguments aside, the true issue boils down to a single question: If the government has the power to tell the people what they can and cannot put into their own body, be it tobacco smoke, trans-saturated fats or methamphetamine, how can one even pretend one lives in a free country? Government should remain the way it was originally intended by the founders: limited. Keith Lawrence University undergraduate student