Gang incidents cause for alarm

It's not wanna-bes and fistfights any more. In 1999, when then-Medford Police Chief Eric Mellgren formed the department's Gang Street Drug Unit, Medford's gang problem consisted mostly of graffiti "tags" on ... Read more
Cool Breeze

Charlotte, NC

#1 Jan 9, 2008
Want to end gang violence?

Give them free marijuana.

Then they'll be too laid back
to do anything.

Ashland, OR

#2 Jan 13, 2008
Cool Breeze wrote:
Want to end gang violence?
Give them free marijuana.
Then they'll be too laid back
to do anything.
Actually, that comment--although meant only to be funny--has a germ of wisdom in it. Did you kinow that drugs are not illegal in Britain and many other European countries? They are regulated by the government and even the most hard-core addict can get a prescription for the drug they need. They don't have to buy it off the streets, rob or kill to get the money for it, or be treated like a criminal because they have a sickness--addiction. Haven't you ever wondered why those countries have no gang violence like we do? The gangs can't survive if they have no drug business to support themselves, and they have no need to fight over drug territories if any addict can walk into a medical clinic and get what they need without societal stigma. We can't win the fight on drugs as long as we treat addiction like a crime rather than what it really is, an illness which is the business of the medical community, not law enforcement. I don't take drugs myself, nor do I use marijuana, but I recognize an addiction for what it is--a medical problem, not a criminal act. If our government stopped wasting money trying to "win the war on drugs" and started treating it as a disease and helping the addicts either control their addiction or recover from it, we would have more tax dollars for health care and education and other necessities!

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