Friday, December 05, 2008

75th Anniversary - Repeal Day

Ethan A. Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, writes in the
WSJ today, "Let's End Drug Prohibition". "Today is the 75th anniversary of that blessed day in 1933 when Utah became the 36th state and deciding state to ratify the 21st amendment, thereby repealing the 18th amendment. This ended the nations disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition. The Americans who voted in 1993 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption."

John Walter, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control, writes and opposing view in the WSJ. Walter writes, "Our Drug Policy is a Success", 'whatever challenges await him Obama will not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to keeping the lid on the use of illegal drugs. Our policy has been a success..... Last March, our Coast guard seized a one month's supply of cocaine destined for the U.S.....'(while two months supply of other drugs were coming in through our porous 2000 mile border between our country and Mexico) "No comparison with the 127 million drinkers and the 20 million drug users...."

Somewhere, somehow, this country is going to have to open up a national debate as to whose facts are wrong or whose facts are right. And weigh all successes and failures, just as was done on alcohol prohibition and the 21st amendment. It will be a long and hard debate. Nadelmann says "we need to promote vigorous and informed debate. The worst prohibition, after all is a prohibition on thinking"

I can speak with some authority on the subject. On March 9, 2007, Dee (Widmer) Keaton and I lost our son, a victim of the illegal drug trade that has contaminated almost every city in this country including infested area's of Peoria known by every drug interdiction officer in this city..And most any local police officer.

It's past time for a national debate. Unfortunately, the president-elect has 172 promises before he gets to this national disgrace that affects ONLY 20 MILLION users in the U.S. (and another 20 million Mr. Walter doesn't know about).

5 comments:

Nancy Cripe said...

Mark's death was December 9, 2007. Today, nearly one year later we can look at what happened as a result of Mark's death. A family who lost their belongings to a fire received his furniture. A man who could not afford clothes received his clothes. We were able to give a memorial to send a kid to ICC. We were able to provide a house warming to a homeless person. We raised funds for Places for People, and in honor of Mark joined their Board of Directors and we are working on developing a historic apartment building into transitional housing for 24 homeless. We can now share our pain with others who are facing the same circumstances with their brother, son or friend.

When you see someone suffering from the throws of addiction, you might think that this is someone who is loved by his family who are now helpless to reach him.

The issue is vast, the loss personal, the solution complicated. Love Nancy

Billy Dennis said...

Merle: I cannot begin to understand how you feel. But I do think your experiences give you credibility on the question of the degree to which drugs and alcohol should be illegal.

Yes, I said alcohol. I firmly believe that as this country has moved toward the New Prohibition -- focusing on "underage" drinking -- the more we have made it forbidden fruit for young adults.

Merle Widmer said...

A year ago today, an accident took the life of my only son. His mother his sisters and many others, grieve his loss. Mark was an over-the road truck driver and being out in the world so much, put tremendous pressure on Mark to be accepted by transit people. Life on the highways almost every day is risk taking itself and may lead to other risk taking that can be destructive. Mark, no different than many, failed to resist the drug use culture so many are promoting in this world.

He possibly believed that since others could handle drug abuse for a long while without it showing, that he could too. We know he was a long time in denial.

Drug addiction can only be imagined by most of us. The fact itself must distort the mind into believing that drug addiction is something users can handle themselves. Perhaps some can. Mark thought he could. Family and outside help in many ways was offered. In the end, this help, evidently inadequate, was not accepted by our son and brother. Near the end of his life, he lost control of his rational thinking. We don't believe he ever fully believed until too late, the destructive consequences of his increasing addition.

Mark's many good qualities were enjoyed by his extended family and many others for most of the years of his relativley short life.

That I, his mother and sisters, and many others, loved him and were very concerned about him, Mark may not have fully realized.

He is sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Dad, well said.

mjgreytak said...

He wanted just a
a place to fit,
some days he felt too much.
Outside without entrance
a desparation
so profound
Unable yet to name the sound
residing in his head.
He's so alone
he can't explain
a way for me to help.
Could I but take in his soul
and share
to shelter it and hold his pain
to cradle his head,
absolve his shame.
He haunts my dreams
my waking hours
this dissonance compells me.
Sisters and brothers
knitted hearts, secrets shared
bled apart.
I miss you brother.
I miss you Mark.

RIP
Mary Jo