Letters to the editor

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John Higgins, please don’t tell me you are a history major. Your Jan. 17 column wandered around the facts of the drug enforcement issues as if it were a lost liberal at the Bush inauguration.

To start, the national policy of a “war on drugs” began in the Nixon years, not, as you claim, around when you were born. While the Reagan years may have provided a bigger publicity boost to the issue, the enforcement efforts, both local and national, were well underway a decade earlier.

Second, you fall into the fallacy of believing “government estimates” about drug use and then drawing an equally silly conclusion about enforcement. Drug use is not a driver’s license. Nobody fills out forms declaring their personal habits and gets a picture taken to prove it. Even if the statistics were correct, what do they have to do with enforcement?

What were “those arrested for drug charges” accused of: simple possession or felony distribution? What does “spend time” on drug charges mean: serving a prison sentence or incarceration awaiting a bail hearing? If you are advocating some loosened policy on drug use, say so, but don’t wave the wand of racism to overlook the facts about how destructive the drug trade has been to countless communities across the nation.

While you are on the nostalgia trip, remember a part of the ’60s that didn’t involve sex, drugs and rock and roll: the civil rights movement. For many people of color, the right to vote wasn’t legal, and was earned through hard work, sacrifice and bodily injury.

Not such a fun trip after all, John.