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Prohibit Drugs or Rechannel Resources?

The author of the opinion-page article ``Surgeon General's Critique of Drug Policy Deserved Better,'' Jan. 6, claims that abandoning Prohibition did not cure alcoholism but did cure many of Prohibition's side effects. But the consumption and abuse of alcohol has increased tremendously. Decriminalizing the use of drugs would surely result in vastly increased drug use and would substitute other social problems for criminal activity. E. Everett Edwards, Doylestown, Pa.

Prohibit Drugs or Rechannel Resources?

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It is encouraging to see people in high places discussing the possibility of decriminalizing drugs. One of the worst drugs, alcohol, is already legal anyway. Why treat the others differently? We are reliving the Prohibition days as though we had learned nothing from their lessons.

Making drugs legal to stop the high incentive for murder is only part of the solution, however. New laws must rechannel the many billions of dollars now being spent on drug wars, law enforcement, and incarceration.

The young need to learn the importance of courtesy, honesty, unselfishness, responsibility, and good morals. We need to redirect resources to establish recreation and work programs for youth, and child-rearing training programs for young parents.

As well as stopping unprecedented levels of violent crime, we might unleash some of our tremendous potential for constructive growth and bring progress to all aspects of society. Ralph W. Emerson, Tacoma, Wash.

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