Robert L. Maginnis, Familly Research Council
Despite data which strongly supports the continuation of effective drug abuse prevention, treatment and enforcement programs, some prominent Americans support legalizing illicit drugs. For example: George Shultz, former President Reagan's Secretary of State, says that "Legalization would destroy dealer profits and remove their incentive to get young people addicted."
Nobel laureate in economics Milton Friedman says that the criminalization of certain drugs undermines respect for the law and creates "a decadent moral climate." He states that legalizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine would "thus strike a double blow; reduce crime activity directly, and at the same time increase the efficacy of law enforcement and crime prevention."
U.S. Federal District Judge Robert Sweet says the nation should learn the lesson of prohibition and the crime that ensued when alcohol was illegal. "Look at tobacco, the most addictive drug, and we've reduced [use] by a third."
Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke commented on former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders' call for a study to legalize drugs. "I think what the Surgeon General said was absolutely courageous and correct."
Aryeh Neier, president of billionaire philanthropist George Soros's Open Society Institute, states, "The current [drug] policy is wasteful and it promotes crime and disease.... From every standpoint, it is a failure."
Many other officials disagree. Lee P. Brown, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, labels legalization "a formula for self-destruction" and warns that decriminalization of drugs would mean genocide for the black community.
Wayne Roques, a much-published Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman, says, "Drug policies which legalize drugs would decimate the inner cities and gravely wound... [continues]
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