Rational approach to narcotics

Dear Editor:Elsa has done it again! She's succeeded in putting together folktales and false statistics into a platform of ultra-conservative political nonsense that rivals the brainless utterances of the likes of Sarah Palin's tea-sippers. ("Truth About Drugs," Letters to the Editor, 8/12/10) First, the war on drugs, like the war on alcohol in the 1920s, has been a complete failure. Second, addictiveness is decided by brain chemistry, the study of which at UCLA has determined that about 10% of the population possesses the neurological proclivity for addiction. For this, it matters little what intoxicating substance they consume, nor does it matter how much. There are no "gateway" drugs for the 10% of those whose particular neuro-chemstry has predetermined their penchant for addiction. Third, our government has spent billions protecting 90% of the population for whom "illegal" drugs will never be a problem. Now let's take a rational approach to the issue. If we legalize and control substances that are now illegal, we immediately eliminate the criminal element. Drug cartels throughout the world will have to find other means of financing their nefarious, terrorist activities. If we then spend a fraction of the cost of our present war on drugs on education, rehabilitation, and regulation of narcotics in the same way we regulate alcohol, we just might be able to help the 10% who will need our support to win their personal battles with their own narcotic demons. While closed, frightened and irrational minds like Ms. Van Leuven continue to prevail over the fears of the populace, our society will never know the enlightenment that the exercise of true rationality can bring to the resolution of one of our most deadly social problems. -- Michael Parmer, Fountain Valley

********** Published: August 19, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 18