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The Real Tragedy Of the Drug War

In “Vietnam in the Making” [Mar. 2], Michael J. Borucke describes how colossal a failure the U.S. Drug War is. Not to disappoint, he puts his usual radical left-wing spin on the situation. Pointing out the continuing political turmoil in nations which produce or traffic drugs, citing grim statistics about drug use in the United States, and delineating the massive financial burden it puts on U.S. taxpayers is hardly original.

It would be original, however, to expose the real tragedy of the Drug War: the United States is brutally fighting its own citizens. Should not individuals have a right to do with their bodies as they wish? The government does not seem to think so, and is burning through billions of tax dollars to fund massive law enforcement and penal bureaucracies, while simultaneously hammering away at pre-existing Fourth Amendment rights. Let us not also forget that drug policies are probably discriminatory, harming minorities (particularly African-Americans) disproportionately in all phases, from search and seizure violations (i.e. race-based profiling) to draconian prison sentences (i.e. crack versus cocaine).

Despite this basic flaw in his piece, Borucke does make a fine suggestion in closing: We can influence policy with our voices and votes, and should. The immoral Drug War is one of the many reasons why I support the Libertarian Party.

Sourav K. Mandal ’00