|So many challenges face federal, state and local law enforcement as we
deal on a daily basis with the crime and violence drug trafficking breeds. There are days
when the odds seem enormous. The situation, however, is never so bleak as to justify the
legalization of drugs.
|The DEA says this, and even has "demand reduction" agents whose
job it is to convince other people that legalization is a bad idea. Yet they will
never show up for any kind of debate or open discussion in which these issues can be
|Many people contend that the legalization of drugs will solve our current
crime problems, reduce drug abuse, and lessen the violence and profit associated with drug
trafficking. They are simply wrong and uninformed. Legalization of drugs would be a
disaster of the highest order. The arguments for legalization are a sad and bitter
offering to the most vulnerable segment of our population.
|Legalization would increase risks and costs to individuals, families, and
communitiesindeed to every part of the nation without compensating benefits. Greater
availability of drugs would lead to greater use and more overall problems associated with
drug abuse. Society would contend with more transportation crashes and more industrial
accidents due to impaired judgment, more educational failures, more homelessnesss, more
destroyed careers and families, more child abuse and domestic violence, more AIDS, and
more babies born addicted or retarded.
||This is an oft-repeated claim with no concrete basis in fact.
|But, above all, legalization would send our children the wrong message.
Our children are our most precious natural resource and they deserve better from us.
||How many people do we have to throw in prison to send the right message to
our children? Anyone who thinks that throwing people in prison in massive numbers is
a good way to communicate with children needs a basic communcations class.
|We must not abrogate our responsibility to ensure that they have the
safest, healthiest possible environment to grow up in; and a healthy environment certainly
does not, cannot, include deadly drugs.
||By the Federal Government's own surveys, teens report that it is easier to
obtain illegal drugs than the legal drug, alcohol. By the word of our own teenagers, the
DEA has obviously failed in this goal.
|Legalization is a simplistic response to a complex problem which took
years to develop, and which requires some time to fix. In responding to this proposal,
here are compelling reasons why legalization is a dangerous and foolish idea.
||The DEA has obviously failed to read any of the Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.
|Crime, violence and drug use go hand-in-hand:
It is the experience of many local police officers that crime is not only committed
because people want to buy drugs, but more often because people use drugs. Drug use
changes behavior and exacerbates criminal activity.
|The DEA fails to note that most drug-related violence is due to alcohol.
See Psychoactive Substances and Violence,
by the US Department of Justice.
|Legalization would lead to increased use and increased addiction
Legalization sends a message that drug use is acceptable, and would encourage use
among groups who do not use drugs now. When drugs have been widely available in the United
States as morphine was at the time of the Civil War and cocaine was at the turn of the
century both use and addiction rose.
|Health and societal costs would increase:
Any tax revenues reaped from legalizing and taxing drugs would soon evaporate into
drug treatment costs, health care costs for drug-related disease, and the myriad costs
associated with the increased family violence that would result.
|This simply isn't true. See, for example, the Federal Financial
Analysis of the Legalization of Drugs. For the complete version of the DEA's claim,
along with the rebuttal, see Claim III.
|There are no compelling medical reasons to prescribe marijuana to sick
Despite claims to the contrary by proponents of legalization, marijuana has not been
clinically proven to relieve pain and suffering. Not one American health association
accepts marijuana as medicine.
|Marijuana is most certainly medicinal, as shown by the fact that its
primary active ingredient, THC, is a prescription medicine. See the Marinol
In addition, the latest reports from the National Institute of Health shows
that the NIH panel believes it does have medicinal properties -- directly contradicting
Even if there were no medical uses for marijuana, there are no compelling reasons why
we would have to punish sick people for trying to relieve their own suffering with
For a more detailed examination of these points, see the DEA's full Claim V
|Despite our daily frustrations at the enormity of the drug problem in our
nation, and indeed, around the world, we cannot afford to diminish our efforts to improve
the quality of life for all Americans. As long as drugs are widely available, and
organizations such as the Cali mafia continue to live off the misery of thousands upon
thousands of people, the DEA will work every day to make communities safer by dismantling
the most violent and highest-level drug trafficking organizations around the world.