Letter to the editor | We have lost the War on Drugs – TribDem.com

Posted: November 29, 2020 at 5:44 am

Your recent editorial criticizes Oregons decision to decriminalize possession of hard drugs and sharply opposes efforts to legalize recreational marijuana.

Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs as the Vietnam War was winding down.

We have spent untold billions in attempts to cut the drug supply and imprison users and dealers for five decades with no success. Every day the news reports arrests and convictions and the rising death toll from heroin and opioids. Now the headlines report the increased numbers of COVID infections and deaths within the prison system.

The War on Drugs, like Prohibition, has done nothing to reduce the spread of drug use or supply, but it has made a fortune for the drug cartels.

Portugal officially decriminalized drug possession in small amounts in 2001.

Dealers are still prosecuted. The net result has not led to greater addiction and deaths. Quite the opposite addiction, deaths and HIV infections have plummeted as has crime against persons and property to secure funds to buy drugs. Check the numbers.

The War on Drugs is lost. It is time to accept reality and take a new approach.

Oregon will hopefully prove the truth of this statement.

Richard J. Russell

Johnstown

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Letter to the editor | We have lost the War on Drugs - TribDem.com

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