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Rufus King Collection | Drug Hang Up
The Drug Hang Up, America's Fifty-Year Folly
by Rufus King
So, What's Right?
HAVING BEEN so free with criticism all through this work, it is no less than fair now to say plainly what I think is the truth, and what might eventually head us back toward the right path. Problems in this area are not, after all, as complex as the great issues of preserving peace, upgrading education for all, or dealing with crises in depletion, pollution, and overpopulation. One day Americans might simply wake up-as they did about Prohibition-and begin to concern themselves with more important things.
But let there be no mistake on one point: nothing I have said is intended to be an unreserved apology for drugs or drug users, or for indiscriminate distribution of toxic substances to anyone. I have no quarrel with the conclusion that even useful medicines like heroin and morphine are hurtful when taken habitually for nontherapeutic purposes, while poisons with little medical value, like cannabis, caffeine, coca products, tobacco, and beverage alcohol, may indeed be seriously damaging to the health of individuals who abuse them (no question as to the latter categories) and should not be promoted in our society-and, above not under any circumstances permitted to be exploited for commercial profit.
So there is nothing wrong with the end-purpose of the American approach to addiction and abuse---discouraging individual self-injury with drugs. If the choice lay only between presently misguided repression on the one hand, and on the other a society in which prime time was allotted to selling hard narcotics and college magazines were filled with seductive ads for pot, we would be better off with the status quo. (Recently some of the high-pressure huckstering of nonprescription nostrums to relieve tension and induce sleep do sound as if their makers are either deliberately promoting new addictions or else perpetrating shameful frauds on the public.)
The most important single verity about the American drug problem is that it has so long been magnified out of perspective. The nation is not in peril because a minuscule handful of misfits (300,000 addicts among 200 million citizens is .15 per cent) are dependent on chemical gratifications that a majority happens to disapprove. Our youth would not be lost to us if Attorney General Mitchell had been able to report the arrest of 890,000 of them, instead of 89,000, mostly for having had some sort of fling at pot. There is no reason to tolerate further the out-of-sight values put on drug seizures by enforcement authorities, or reckless estimates by "experts" like the current 200-addicts-per-drug-death ratio. Cool facts are obtainable and we are entitled to them.
Yet on the other hand no one can blink the gravity of the current situation. When we ruin tens of thousands of young lives, and squander directly and indirectly resources that must honestly total nearly a billion dollars each year, something is amiss. Moreover, it is not open to much question that drug problems are on the increase virtually everywhere. If we do not find better ways to reverse present trends, there may yet come a time when the ravages of drug abuse, taken all together, may live up to today's hyperboles and begin to compare meaningfully with the harm done by other indulgences and self-imposed afflictions such as-to give tobacco and alcohol a rest-poverty, inflation, highway carnage, runaway birth rates, or our benighted miniwars.
True addiction and other forms of drug abuse are not only not identical they are not even closely related. Efforts to obscure this distinction by equating addiction with "losing ones power of self-control" have caused much trouble. Nothing currently in use by drug users produces addiction except three categories : the opiates, the barbiturates, and alcohol. Persons 'hooked' on these substances must have a continuing supply to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and should usually have medical attention when withdrawal is undertaken. In all other categories, excepting unusual individual cases, the relationship between user and drug is merely that of habituation, and in few other instances is the continuing compulsion to use the drug as strong as that which develops in a person heavily dependent on nicotine. Honest acceptance of this fact makes a good deal of the discussion about drug problems irrelevant in relation to most. The worst present distortion on this account is in popular and official attitude toward marijuana. No "treatment" has significance in discouraging pot smoking, while no sanctions are necessary to induce a motivated person to forsake the drug-nor demonstrably appropriate against moderate users.
Other habituating substances ought to be sorted out on a sensible descending scale. Cocaine is strong, injurious, and susceptible to reasonable controls because coca is not grown here. Amphetamines are strong, injurious (but more valuable medically than cocaine in today's practice), and not susceptible to such tight controls because they are too easy to make. Hashish and THC (cannabis essence) are strong hallucinogens, less controllable than cocaine but not as easy to produce as amphetamines, probably less injurious than either, not used in medicine, and classifiable a grade or two above marijuana (to which they are closely related). LSD is a dangerous fad, for which-we can thank a few Dr. Learys and promotion by the public media, and which will in all likelihood be happily forgotten one day soon; peyote (mescaline) is probably a fad too, destined to be left to the Indians again when popular attention turns away from it. Glue sniffing, banana skins, morning glory seeds, and nutmeg have practically run their courses-though someone may now discover gasoline whiffing as a successor, and then we may have to put up with D-men skulking around garages and gas stations for a while.
In short, abuses of nonaddicting substances merit passing notation and some passing concern. Abuse of a particular category can explode into undesirable fad proportions if it is sufficiently promoted and publicized. Some controls are desirable in controllable instances, and no such substance should be freed for open commercial exploitation of its abuse potential. But "dangerous" is a misnomer for most of them; they do not belong in the same rubric with the addiction producers; and they should be differentiated at every turn when we address ourselves to proposed reforms. As a first step, all of them ought to be removed from the so-called hard-drug pattern.
With further specific regard to marijuana, which may now involve half a million habituated users and several million occasional or experimental smokers, it should be recognized and classified right now as a toxic substance closely akin to tobacco, without any further stalling in the name of additional research. Then as we move toward more vigorous restrictions on cigarette marketers, we should be progressing simultaneously from the other end of the scale toward less stringent measures affecting cannabis. Possession should be removed forthwith from all criminal categories-and may heaven reserve us from ever falling into the comparable error of making it punishable to be caught with a cigarette, or tobacco shreds in one's pocket. If the federal government must concern itself further with this poor weed, control from Washington should be exercised only by appropriate taxation at a level consistent with bona fide revenue collection. Although everyone talks about the "alcohol model" of federal and local controls as a guide for holding pot promotion and pot abuse in check there is a better one (if maximum discouragement is desired), and that is the web of taxation, licensing, regulations, and restrictions with which butter lobbyists have strangled margarine for most of the past century.
Jumping from this to my most radical observation and suggestion, ultimately it must be recognized that the federal government has no rightful place in the drug use picture at all.
And there is actually a close precedent for that, because it is exactly what the national authorities acknowledged with respect to alcoholic beverages after Repeal. Federal controls would still be asserted in a regulatory capacity under the Food and Drug Act, to protect quality and so forth, and the machinery of tax enforcement might still be employed-precisely as it was originally intended to be employed by Mr. Harrison in 1914-to keep the flow of drugs in observable channels, with appropriate records required at each stage of production and distribution. But the management of drug-abuse problems, to the extent that it is a legitimate function of any government, is properly the concern of local jurisdictions only.
Remember that when our grandparents first talked themselves into the experiment of outlawing alcohol, it was accepted without question that a full-blown Constitutional amendment would be required to permit the federal government to curb consumption of that most popular of drugs. And when our fathers saw what folly the Eighteenth Amendment had been, it took another amendment, the Twenty-first, to knock it out.
Yet we have seen how, simultaneously, a mere handful of Treasury agents, acting without any constitutional mandate and without even any honestly conferred statutory authority, managed to launch a national prohibition campaign against opium and cocaine which has been carried on relentlessly ever since.
The U.S. system is, after all, a federal system. The Tenth Amendment says that powers not expressly delegated to the national government under the Constitution are reserved to the states or to the people, and for the first hundred years after the founders set this pattern Congress honored it scrupulously by staying out of local law enforcement. Except for a few special areas like treason and counterfeiting, how each individual citizen behaved himself was left strictly to state lawmakers and city fathers. Again with a few exceptions for specialties such as collecting the customs and policing federal territories, there were virtually no federal enforcement officers in Uncle Sam's service until after the turn of the twentieth century.
Congress first departed from his hands-off policy in the Lottery Acts of 1890 and 1895, banning lottery materials from the mails and from transportation across state lines. The provocation was great: lotteries had grown so out of hand during Reconstruction that no local power was a match for their greedy and fraudulent promoters. And the federal sanctions worked. Quickly the problem began to diminish. Lottery abuses, though still with us locally in one guise or another, have never since been much of a threat to the national welfare.
Thereafter Congress passed a cautious series of laws in support of other local enforcement, each time responding to some special situation where criminal activity had outgrown city limits and state lines: carrying poached game from one state to another (1900); robbing trains (1902); the Mann Act, aimed at white slavery (1910); the Dyer Act, stolen vehicles (1916); the Lindbergh Act, kidnapping (1932); and bank robbery, extortion, and interstate transportation of stolen property (1934).
Without exception, in every one of these instances federal intervention had immediate and salutary effects: the criminal activity at which Congress took aim shrank in importance or sometimes virtually disappeared. There have been only two areas where Uncle Sam's intrusion has had the opposite result: Prohibition, the soon-acknowledged mistake, and drug-use suppression. So today it is in the drug field alone that federal enforcement efforts go on from failure to failure, and where the national community is more burdened and more threatened than it was before Congress stepped in more than half a century ago.
Without a constitutional amendment the underlying bases of federal police authority in this field are questionable. Poachers and kidnapers who skip across state lines are understandably regarded as threats to the national welfare. They also fall squarely within reach of the interstate commerce power. But it is hard to make any similar identification with respect to individuals who merely choose to ingest or inject some vegetable or chemical substance, selected voluntarily by themselves, into their lungs, alimentary tracts, or bloodstreams. Quite to the contrary, it is hard to imagine any area in the whole range of human activity where there would appear to be less federal concern and less possibility of attaching legitimate federal importance, especially bearing in mind that the only touchstone of power over all these years, until the 1970 Act, was Congress' right to lay and collect taxes.
The omniscient founders had something to say about this kind of incursion too, at least as some authorities read the great charter they wrote. One of these days more attention may be paid to the Ninth Amendment, which has lain in the Bill of Rights without attracting much notice, but which provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." If people have no freedom to make such choices as cannabis over nicotine for their preferred lung irritant, what did the Constitution leave to them?
My other most sweeping proposal-that anyone truly addicted be supplied with drugs through medical or public health channels-also has a close precedent, being the principle on which Great Britain has always operated. British attitudes can hardly be characterized as a separate philosophy, for persons who have addiction problems in England are calmly regarded as medical patients, "cured7 by being induced to withdraw entirely from drug use if possible and otherwise "treated" by being furnished an appropriate source of their drug of addiction. The small number of British addicts who end up on stabilized dosages cause no more excitement in England than diabetics being maintained on insulin cause in the United States. (Pursuing the matter of attitudes a little further, since the crime of addiction and the disease of addiction have been the subject of so much embattled controversy in America, it would perhaps be helpful to promote a different concept, more accurately descriptive than either: the accident of addiction. Viewing the chronic drug user as a product of a social accident w8uld be a long first step toward focusing on his real situation and true needs.)
Now confining the discussion narrowly to genuine addiction, which means principally the problems surrounding opiates, why not furnish these drugs rather freely to confirmed users? The foolish notion that morphine and "H" cause antisocial conduct and turn people into "fiends" has been dispelled. No one really believes any longer that society must protect itself by withholding such drugs from individual members, so the hard truth is that all the efforts, and energies, and sacrifices, and most of the disagreeable conditions I have described in this long narrative relate solely to protecting drug addicts from the personal consequences of their own weaknesses. And we have never been able to do that successfully. A true addict cut off from his source of supply for a few days "kicks" his habit and ceases to be physically hooked, so by definition the addict population is made up of people who have always been receiving an adequate and uninterrupted flow of drugs. Why not knock the peddler out completely-and scrap most of our drug-police apparatus, and put an end to drug-induced crime-by providing such a flow ourselves?
Even the extreme expedient of allowing all adult persons whose addiction is medically established to have unrestricted access to drugs for their own use through medical channels would be more rational than our present efforts to save these afflicted souls from themselves via the criminal-enforcement route. The out-and-out sacrifice of a few thousand, or even a few hundred thousand, addict-citizens, who might at worst nod away their lives in harmless euphoria, seems to me to compare favorably with sending them out in everlasting torment to keep raising tribute solely for the benefit of the odious pusher. One might argue that America has been known to tolerate sacrifices of this magnitude, and of more deserving individuals, in the pursuit of less sensible objectives.
But this approach need not involve such extremes. Current experience with methadone has already exemplified some of its possibilities, and with excellent initial returns (doubtless one of the reasons the federal enforcement agencies have made such a crude attack on it in their IND--experimental drug--regulations). Many individuals, freed of the compulsion to spend their lives hustling for the next fix, may be able then to deal with other problems, such as finding jobs, readjusting their family and social relationships, or resuming interrupted educations. Some, with a helping band, will assuredly free themselves from drugs altogether. Contemporary studies suggest that drug users often drift out of addiction as they approach middle age, even after long and severe involvement. This hopeful trend could be encouraged in a broad-scale maintenance program.
In any event, following the English precedent would still mean concentration on withdrawal and drug-free rehabilitation, holding out the ultimate, permitted access only as a sort of carrot-on-the-stick to motivate cooperation. In the present order of things most American addicts have only two points of contact, the pusher who exploits them mercilessly on the one hand, and the policeman who is their relentless nemesis on the other. They bargain so unequally with these two that if they were provided a third alternative it might be possible to exact rather large concessions in return.
Specifically, if there were a way in which the addict could approach medical or public-health authorities to seek help with the management of his affliction, he might, in many instances, pay a substantial quid pro quo for relief-especially if the relief included, at the end of the line and if all else had failed, a secure supply of drugs. This is essentially what was demonstrated when addicts flocked to the so-called clinics of the early twenties, and it is why most of today's methadone programs have been so stormed with applicants that they are forced to maintain long waiting lists.
An addict applying for relief would first be screened to make certain his problem was indeed an established addiction (thus weeding out the stereotyped "youthful experimenter" and other borderliners); he would then be put through examination and diagnosis covering his physical condition, psychiatric state, and social circumstances as far as might be necessary; thereafter he could be given whatever was available in the way of counseling, therapy, job placement, or hospitalization or location in some facility outside his usual haunts; he would be subjected to periodic urine testing, to control possible abuse of drugs outside the program; and of course he would be held to the most important of all-namely, no drugs released into his possession, and accordingly no temptation to sell to others or to "picnic" by accelerating his intake from a supply intended for future consumption.
Everything just described now characterizes the best of the methadone programs, would apply as well to morphine or h notions about these natural opiates were dispelled. By controlling input, psychiatric counseling and hospital and resident facilities could be used effectively and to capacity, instead of being alternately starved and inundated depending on the haphazard workings of compulsory "commitment" machinery. It is true that persons currently in these programs are sometimes found to be supplementing their intake by obtaining drugs from illicit sources-specifically, in methadone maintenance, by shooting cocaine to get something of the "high' which is difficult to achieve under methadone saturation (and this allegedly accounts for part of the notable renaissance of cocaine use, after the drug had all but disappeared from the illicit traffic).
But such problems should diminish proportionately as an adequate program reached out to make contact with more and more addicts in the community. A few holdouts could not sustain much of a black market. And once the police were induced to stop harassing the centers (which is almost universally the case with methadone programs today, and which raises some ugly implications about police attitudes), and to turn instead to cooperating by running down the sources from which abusers might still be getting additional supplies, the situation could reverse for the better very quickly.
Finally, as already indicated, this approach faces realistically the fact that there are some individuals in our society who prefer being drugged to being abstinent, and who, once addicted, are going to go on saturating themselves with these substances no matter what we do about it. The best solution for them, and for society, is controlled permanent administration. Again assuming a program which is effectively handling the problems of most addicts, this last-resort maintenance regime would raise few problems and could probably eventually be freed of burdensome supervision. Details such as unforgeable identification, limiting prescriptions to one pharmacy or one prescribing authority, and spot checks have been worked out many times and could almost certainly assure that drugs were not diverted by these cases. And on the so-called moral issue, to paraphrase one of Dr. Kolb's observations, anyone who goes about looking skyward to invoke divine wrath against giving addicts access to their chosen nirvana had better take care lest he break his neck stumbling over one of the nation's insensible gutter drunks.
The three main things I have urged so far-throw nonaddicting drugs out of the pattern, limit federal involvement to tax collection and quality policing, and treat confirmed addicts as accident victims or patients along the British line-would quickly cool the drug scene. But although methadone may be a faltering start toward British permissiveness, the trend is to add controlled substances instead of restricting the "dangerous" list, and federal drug authorities seem more entrenched and aggressive than ever.
So, being realistic, let us consider lesser adjustments.
Something that should have been done long ago, and should now be given priority, is the abolition of all possession offenses, in every category, coupled with an amnesty-release for everyone now confined as a result of a possession conviction. Unless possession of drugs is surrounded by circumstances which indicate that it is incidental to pushing, in which case the charge should be the latter offense, penalties attaching to it serve only to punish victims of the traffic. In reality, the main purpose has always been to allow agents and police to force drug users caught in possession to serve as informers or betrayers of their associates. The argument that possession convictions can be used as a shortcut to incarcerate people who are actually guilty of unprovable offenses in more serious categories is as unworthy in this context as in any other; many policemen would like to have power to put away anyone they thought might be an offender, but as a basis for the exercise of real authority to arrest and convict this is a dangerous power indeed. Buyers who come into possession of adulterated food and recipients of counterfeit bills are not harassed or prosecuted; the law enforcers start up the line to find out who manufactured, or sold, or passed. That should be the limit of the law-enforcement reach with respect to contraband drugs too. Punishing mere possession by addicts is also objectionable in the extreme because it usually amounts to imposing sanctions for being addicted; the compulsion to take drugs compels its victim equally to possess before taking.
Another step needed is the reduction of drug offense penalties to moderate levels, with no minimums in any category, no status offenses, and maximums graded in a range below five years, or certainly not above ten, plus reinstatement of eligibility for probation, parole, youth-correction programs, and other benefits generally available to all convicted persons. This should be done with retroactive application, to put prisoners now serving time for drug offenses into a more endurably fair relation with their fellow inmates atoning for such crimes as murder, rape, and treason.
Of course no one can disagree that whenever we catch prototypes of Mr. Big, supposedly elegant white overlords 6f the traffic who are neither addicted themselves nor ever touch the stuff, who sport names ending in Sicilian vowels and very likely boast important connections with cops and political figures, they should be severely punished. Even traffickers with less gloss, not themselves addicted and who reap profits from extorting such high prices in the addict community, are indefensible predators.
But there are few of these important criminals behind the bars. And anyway what deters them is not how severely they might be punished if caught, but whether they are likely to be caught at all. It is the swiftness and certainty of criminal justice that makes the difference; excessive severity is a good theme for spellbinders, but is not a solution for enforcement problems and can actually upset the evenhanded administration of justice. In the drug field, juries have been known to bring back obviously incorrect verdicts of not guilty, and judges have defied their statutory obligations in imposing sentence, simply to avoid the severity of harsh mandatory terms in borderline cases.
Retention of the special law-enforcement prerogatives which have come to be associated with drug prohibition over the years seems unjustified. Making money loosely available so that agents can make "buys" and bribe informants for information should end forthwith. So should the practice of rewarding informers with a percentage of fines collected or of the value of drugs seized (and sometimes, as has been suggested, with some of the drugs in kind). There is no reasonable need to give drug agents overbearing powers such as making arrests and seizures without warrants, the serving of warrants at night, granting limited immunity in return for compelled testimony or even the carrying of firearms in the ordinary discharge of their duties as mere regulators and tax collectors. Above all, the controversial "no-knock" authorization, currently being pushed as a new police prerogative justified by the danger that people with drugs in their homes are likely to destroy them if they are given warning when the police come to the door, is a hysterical overreaction which cannot be abandoned and forgotten too quickly.
The best change short of withdrawing federal authority altogether would be to remove nearly everything from the jurisdiction Of the Attorney General and the Department of justice. Responsibility for scientific evaluation and classifications should go back to the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. The counterfeit provisions, if they cannot be wiped out, ought to go to FDA also, or to the Federal Trade Commission. Remaining tax-collection authority should be returned to Treasury, but placed with the Alcohol Tax Unit for bona fide enforcement instead of being turned over to anything like another Drug Bureau. If further international maneuverings are warranted, they should be handled by the State Department; dealing with smugglers belongs entirely in the jurisdiction of Customs; educational efforts, if the federal government insists on continuing its intrusions in this field, belong in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; and such research as is deemed necessary ought to be conducted or controlled through the National Institutes with no strings attached by justice or other agencies.
On the critical question of what constitutes good medical practice in the prescribing and administering of drugs, we should, after all these years, do what the British did in 1924 and let the medical profession itself lay down standards by which the laws are to be interpreted. This could be done through the organized medical societies or by a special federal commission of some kind, charged with responsibility for proposing appropriate regulations. The same thing could probably also be-undertaken by any state, with the effect of preempting the federal prerogative. If, for example, the New York State legislature asked the New York Academy of Medicine to prepare something like the British Rolleston Rules, and then enacted the result as governing policy binding on licensed physicians in New York State, this would probably be binding likewise on federal agents despite contrary notions in the U.S. Treasury or the Department of Justice.
Education about drugs, in moderation and aimed only at audiences where it is directly relevant, seems in order, but only if the educators are honest and enlightened on the subject. Heroin must be stripped of its mythical terrors and returned to the Pharmacopoeia. Free-swinging distortions and alarms about marijuana must be quieted. Fads must be damped. And we should not expect too much from educational campaigns. Every American schoolchild for several generations has been exposed to propaganda about the evils and dangers of alcohol, yet no one has ever demonstrated that the result has been a single abstinent person who might otherwise have developed a drinking problem.
Taking the situation as it is today, there is a greater need for narrowly targeted enlightenment, verging toward counseling, than for broadcast education. Accurate knowledge must be made available about specific conditions in such communities as New York City's Manhattan, where addiction and abuse problems are concentrated, so that troubled parents, puzzled users on the threshold of being hooked, and anyone else who may be directly affected can understand and cope with their own situations. In some instances where doctors, public-health authorities, or private groups have sought to have this kind of service provided, the greatest single difficulty has been police harassment. Unless the doctor-patient, lawyer-client, or clergy-penitent privilege is available and invoked, narcotic-squad officers try to find out who comes for counseling, to get at advisors' records, and sometimes to entrap participants. This is of course inexcusable and ought not to be tolerated anywhere.
On the international scene, it is time the United States Put aside all notions of controlling its unique problem by forcing other nations to do its bidding in curbing their own drug production or oppressing their own citizens with Yankee-type laws. Fifty years of bullying and cajoling the world community in this fruitless campaign is more than enough. This does not mean that present routines to reduce the smuggled inflow of prohibited drugs should be abandoned--only that U.S. international efforts should be drastically reduced to the same level as present activity in connection with other kinds of smuggled contraband.
While looking at the international scene, and approaching the end of this discussion, I am impelled to note a related suggestion along quite a different line: perhaps the U.S. government could be induced to take the lead in pressing for international outlawry of the official use of drugs to subjugate, oppress, and torture. Not forgetting how scornfully I have reported charges along the way that America's enemies are plotting to undermine the United States with drugs, I venture nonetheless to suggest that there is something a little different that does merit alarm and international action. That is the use of drugs to enslave or destroy individuals under oppressive political control. The Nazis reportedly used depressants in the food of concentration-camp inmates to make it possible for small numbers of guards to keep the upper hand with thousands of otherwise desperate and resourceful prisoners. The Greeks are now said to be neutralizing certain political dissenters by shattering their minds with heavy dosages of some hallucinogen like LSD, administered continuously for a week or two. Scopolamine can make a joke of the constitutional rights cherished as safeguards for accused persons in the Western world. And a variety of other chemicals are now at hand to enable an oppressor to incapacitate and render submissive the oppressed, which seems to me to do more violence to human integrity than any of the lethal or prior conditions of slavery from which we recoil in horror. U.S. spokesmen could begin trying to persuade political authorities everywhere to renounce this dreadful possibility under all circumstances in the future.
Lastly, the single concentration of effort which would do more than any other to break up the existing illicit drug traffic, without changing present enforcement patterns, would be some truly effective assault on corruption in all its degrees and nuances. In many areas, current circumstances suggest that someone may be looking the other way. And where authorities are tolerating drug activities, it is inevitable that someone is also taking bribes or receiving other benefits from the traffic. Diligent enforcement of bribery laws, aggressive internal policing of the drug police, rigorous scrutiny of all sources of political funds-and perhaps even a new federal statute to bring errant local enforcers more directly under the jurisdiction of the incorruptible FBI-such measures could do much to further real prevention by repression, so long as we are going to cling to that approach anyway.
So there it is. The implications of this discourse are not so insignificant, in truth, when viewed against today's background of unrest and pressure on the one hand, and a measureless flood of new drug substances commencing to inundate us on the other. It seems important simply to start trying very hard to be right about drug problems, and to look at the situation realistically and with less emotion. We must induce Uncle Sam to get the monkey off his back altogether if we can. We must relax more about the few poor souls who won't or can't kick their addiction, and try to help the rest escape instead of hounding them deeper into drugs and crime. It is time to face the fact that we are never going to succeed pushing our prejudices onto the rest of the world. And if we cannot cool the ardor and soften the powers of law enforcers, at least we must strive to keep them honest and incorruptible.