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The Reagans' War on Drugs

September 21, 1986

The most disappointing aspect of the Reagan broadcast was the realization that the Reagans are committed to an inflexible counterproductive approach that can only make it more difficult to fight the problem of drug abuse.

There was no distinction made between drug use and drug abuse, nor between the many substances labeled "drugs." The Reagan message is simple: There are drugs and non-drugs. The use of drugs by anyone, anytime, anyplace, anywhere cannot be tolerated.

To me, this sounds like telling teen-agers that there is only one simple solution to the problems of pregnancy and VD: Don't engage in premarital sex, and you won't have to learn how to have sex responsibly.

As a teacher, and a father of teen-agers, I am as concerned about drug abuse as Nancy Reagan. I feel that the solution lies in education about drugs. This will not be accomplished by drug horror stories, but by true education on the meaning of self-discipline, responsibility and control over one's life. Prohibition didn't work in the 1920s and it is unlikely to work in 1986.

DAVID E. BEEMAN JR.

Glendora

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