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Legalizing drugs: A real fix or true folly?

October 22, 2005

Re "Let those dopers be," Current,

Oct. 16

Norm Stamper touches on an important issue: addictive behaviors cannot be rationally dealt with when the addict, to meet those needs, turns to criminal behavior. Drug abuse is an addictive behavior and should not be dealt with as criminal, by itself. We don't deal with alcohol or nicotine abuse or many other addictive behaviors by treating the addicted as criminals. Addictive behaviors are self-abuse behaviors and should be treated, not punished.

ROBERT WELLS

West Hills

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When Stamper demonstrates that the nation has successfully managed the personal, social and economic impacts and costs of the two most abused "legal" drugs, alcohol and tobacco, only then should credibility be given to his proposal.

JACK DROWN

Encinitas

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Legalizing all drugs would be a plus for the many reasons Stamper stated, especially the ever-increasing drug-crime rate. I don't think there are more alcoholics because booze is legal, but even if legalization increases addiction, so be it -- we drug-free citizens would be better off in many ways. The unwinnable war on drugs was lost long ago.

ANNE FARRELLY

Brentwood

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Instead of the open market for selling these drugs, they should be sold at government stores at prices much lower than the drug dealers'. Without profit, drug dealers are out of business. The drugs could be taxed and the taxes used for rehabilitation. You could scale back the Drug Enforcement Administration and use that money for something useful, such as disaster relief.

JOHN PEDIGO

Downey

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Are we to believe that the legalization of behavior-altering drugs can keep us safer? Stamper believes legalizing drugs under certain regulations, such as having private companies compete for the manufacturing and distribution, can aid the growing dilemma of drugs in America. However, wouldn't this make the groups already trafficking in illegal drugs lose business, leading to more illegal activity and violence? Stamper's proposal to legalize all drugs can only make matters worse.

ARYA SHIRAZI

Student, Aliso Niguel High School

Aliso Viejo

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