War On Drugs A Waste

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Editor:

Major kudos to Howard Wooldridge, the former cop who says: "Legalize drugs." (April 15, 2005). Our so-called war on drugs has been counterproductive and a complete waste of money. No matter how much money we throw down the drug war rat hole, we will never be able to nullify or break the law of supply and demand.

I'd like to add that in 1969 the U.S. federal drug enforcement budget was $65 million. Last year it was $19.2 billion. (These figures don't include the cost of incarceration nor the state and local costs).

The $19.2 billion is greater than a 295-fold increase. If the price of coffee which sold for 25 cents a cup in 1969 had increased at the same rate, we would now be paying almost $75 for a cup of coffee. More than $75 with sales tax.

But the monetary costs are not the only cost of our failed war on drugs. The war on drugs has cost us the right to rightfully call the United States a truly free country. If adult citizens cannot decide for themselves what to put into their own bodies without the threat of getting arrested and jailed for doing so, we are not a free country.

Obviously, we are not a truly free country. The words "liberty" or "justice" engraved upon our currency or national monuments do not make a country free.

Kirk Muse, Mesa

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