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OPINION: Redefining Drug Use as Addiction, Not Criminal Behavior

When someone has a serious problem abusing substances of any kind, at what point does it help them to get angry, and to pour salt on wounds that are clearly open and raw?

Most drug addicts need help beginning at the source.

Addicts need to go back to the basics and deal with their insecurities and destructive habits.

The drug problem has persisted, and in some respects worsened, because we've gone at it entirely the wrong way.

The war on drugs has done tremendous harm by sending thousands of drug users to prison instead of salvaging their lives and communities with treatment.

The "war on drugs" isn't working and even if it was, the price is too high. The prohibition on drugs leads to black market prices. It generates crime and violence as dealers fight over turf and sales, and drug users steal to buy illicit substances at inflated prices.

The drug laws turn users -- who need treatment and counseling -- into criminals. Users hide away in worlds that ultimately are filled with shame and fear. We'd be far better off if drug use was regarded as a health problem.

We should legalize at least some drugs and reduce the harm they cause by regulating their sale and treating their victims. The harm done by drugs is predominantly caused by the fact that they're illegal.

A more sensible policy would be to control their distribution and discourage their use. Prohibition of alcohol didn't work in the 1920s (in fact, it just provoked the production and sales of alcohol, creating an underground "criminal" culture) and drug prohibition doesn't work now.

Decriminalizing drug use would destroy the illicit drug trade and create a more delicate forum for users to pursue help. The war on drugs has done tremendous harm by sending thousands of drug users to prison instead of salvaging their lives and communities with treatment.

Imagine a world where people struggling with dark demons felt comfortable pursuing the light, rather than feeling as though they must hide in the dark. Drug treatment should be widely available, and stigma-free. How many incredibly talented and creative people struggle with addictive behavior?

The answer is not to put these people away and forget about them. All human beings are full of potential that only needs to be realized. Studies show that treatment programs are the most cost-effective way of dealing with the drug problem. Even expensive treatment programs pay for themselves by reducing the costs of lost productivity, crime, and health care.

Decriminalizing certain drugs -- such as the use of marijuana -- will permit law enforcement officials to focus on more pressing priorities.



Adapted from an Opinion by Kate Reynolds as submitted to www.thecoolgroup.org

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Of Mice And Women

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A woman tried to kill mice in her trailer home with a gun. Sheriff's officials say the 43-year-old woman pulled out her .44-caliber Magnum revolver after she saw the mice scurrying across the floor of her trailer in the valley.

But she accidentally dropped the gun, which went off as it struck the floor. The bullet went through the woman's kneecap, bounced off the keys sitting on the belt loop of a 42-year-old man in the trailer and grazed the man's groin before ending up in his coin pocket. Authorities did not release the shooting victims' names.

The mice escaped the shooting unharmed.


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Here's a puzzler for you with

Mikey's Magical Mystery:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ___ ___ _6_
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ___ _5_ ___
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _4_ ___ ___

There are six blanks and using the numbers, 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, fill in the blanks.

When you are done, all numbers from 1 to 9 will be used, BUT no doubles, and every which way the total of each three number set will be fifteen, as the total of 4, 5, 6 are in the mystery above. Each of the three rows across will add to fifteen, each of the three rows up and down will add to fifteen AND the two diagonal rows will add to fifteen.

Not as easy as you think and not as difficult either.

The answer is at the bottom of Congregation Of Our Lord's Editorial.

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