The Great American Drug War: ‘A problem that will not go away’

Editor of the Reformer:

Getting inebriated is an intentional human behavior -- it is not a mistake or an accident. Neither is it a mental health crisis. It is, in fact, perfectly normal human behavior well within the range of good mental health. Just like the drugs themselves, it is a question of degree (or percentage) of usage and effect.

Deeply ingrained in the desired effects of drug use is another perfectly normal human behavior: Moderation. In fact, moderation is the largest component of drug use behavior. It represents the behavior of up to 85 to 95 percent of all human drug use (with one glaring exception -- cigarettes, which run roughly at a 98 to 100 percent addiction rate).

So what is the purpose of drug laws that scoop up the huge body of moderate drug users and throws them into the closed circle of the criminal justice system? You guessed it: money and power. Throwing that many moderate users in jail is not meant to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community. And, neither is the criminal system really interested in saving us from ourselves. A corporate personhood cannot line his pockets with just junking the junkies. It is those huge numbers of moderate, responsible, hard working drug users that keep the criminal justice system salivating. Year by year, hand over fist, the money rolls in to the tune of billions of dollars. You can’t make that kind of money just by locking up the drug addicts.


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That’s simply not fiscally responsible. Who the hell would invest in the criminal justice industrial complex if it only locked up a few addicts? And forget about making money by locking up the dealers. We all know that’s a laugh.

So what is the purpose of the marketplace of illegalization? The word "legalization" is a code word that is used by much of the media and proponents in the corporately inspired criminal justice system to keep adult personal drug use illegal. Legalization is meant to be inflammatory. It is not used to describe an actual policy.

By selecting cigarettes and alcohol as the allowable legal drugs, corporate influence is immediately obvious. The awesome wealth and power of the alcohol and tobacco industries is enhanced by the incestuous nature of their boardrooms and stockholders interbred with other corporate industries.

The one thing the tentacles of corporate power were missing is personhood. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, the jigsaw is complete that rounds out the picture of the menacing embrace of the cruel giant octopus on our backs.

The Great American Drug War is a problem that will not go away. Not because of the drug users, but because of the longstanding agreements between corporate and political boardrooms, that sometimes are "illegal and therefore secretive, that limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, and who obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage."

Vidda Crochetta,

Brattleboro, June 16

I remember when ...

Editor of the Reformer:

When I moved my family to Vermont from Connecticut in 1945, I suppose I qualified as a flat lander. We came from a region where dirt roads were few and far between. Therefore, mud season had no meaning for us. However, several years later, I began to sell real estate and insurance in Jamaica in surrounding towns.

One spring, I needed to visit an insurance customer who lived on a dirt road that was little traveled. As I drove towards her house, there was a man standing near the road in front of his house. He signalled me to stop, which I did. Then he came to my car and advised me to stop there and walk the rest of the way. I said thanks but I’ll be all right. I drove only a little distance when my car sank into the mud right up to the hubs. I looked back at the man and he wave and hollered.

He was gone a short while and returned with a pair of horses, which he hooked up to my car and they pulled me out of the mud. I offered to pay him but he wouldn’t take my money, so I thanked him and walked the rest of the way. It was a lesson about spring dirt roads in Vermont that has served me well.

Warren S. Patrick,

Townshend, June 1

Love the outdoors?
Try geocaching

Editor of the Reformer:

I agree with a recent letter writer "Enjoy the outdoors," June 10) -- get out and enjoy the trails.

If you need a little help getting out there, go to geocaching.com and look at their map. You will see caches all over the trails, historic sites and old cemeteries everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and there are new ones popping up all the time. I was introduced to geocaching last August, and since then I have hiked all the trail’s mentioned in the letter, and a lot more.

It is something the whole family can do together. You can download a free app right to your smartphone and go find one right now. I bet there is one waiting to be found within a five-minute ride from where you are right now.

I will warn you though, it can be addictive, especially if you like a challenge. I have found 937 of them already. I went 65 days in a row without missing a day since the day I was introduced to it. Have fun and cache on.

Derek Doucette,

Dummerston, June 16

Shun one, laud another?

Editor of the Reformer:

Having just returned from a weekend trip to Boston (one of my least favorite cities), while wandering aimlessly to get out of the city, we passed near Fenway Park and I noticed a street named Yawkey Lane.

Now it seems to me that having thrown Sterling out of the NBA for racist comments, how can the Red Sox get away with honoring a man who, while he owned the Sox, was a southern racist bigot and who was the last owner to hire a black baseball player and then only under duress?

If Sterling was castigated and forced to resign for remarks he supposedly made in private, then Yawkey’s memory should most assuredly not only not be honored, but condemned. But, that’s Boston and why it continues to be my least favorite city.

David L. Fagelson,

Putney, June 16