Letters to the Editor

'Legalize drugs'

The Bee is right to criticize and to oppose "Plan Colombia" (editorial, March 16), but wrong to conclude that "the only way to win a war on drugs" is to cut demand and give those "mired in poverty a real chance to make a decent living without selling drugs."

In a nation that prides itself on individual freedom, the "only way" to win a war on drugs is to legalize drugs for all adults -- compare the addictive, destructive, but perfectly legal drugs, nicotine and alcohol -- and to wage the kind of war that is currently being waged on the demand for alcohol and tobacco.

The U.S. wisely does not go after the makers and sellers, let alone the consumers, of alcohol and tobacco, but it does attempt to educate its citizens, especially its youth, to avoid such products or to use them appropriately. It should adopt similar strategies and tactics with respect to all currently-illegal drugs.

Wendell Stephenson

Fresno

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