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'Where's the War Against the Legal Killer, Alcohol?'

June 04, 1988

Kudos to Paterson and her sensible column on how the war on drugs not only isn't being won, but is, in reality, unwinnable. Her mention of (Secretary of Health and Human Services) Dr. Otis R. Bowen's public health approach to addiction vis-a-vis the criminal-law enforcement approach indicates that at least there is one voice crying in the wilderness of the Reagan Administration.

It is surely a tragic irony that both tobacco and alcohol are being ignored in the senseless war on much less dangerous substances.

In Los Angeles in 1987, there were more gang-related homicides than there were total homicides on the entire continent of Europe. Since these gang-related killings were primarily because of rivalry over drug dealings, the European lesson would seem to be that in addition to strict gun control, a public-health approach to drug addiction not only works but also saves lives.

Didn't we learn anything from Prohibition?

BEN EDWARD AKERLEY

Glendale

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