Calls for the legalization of drugs ignore the science

Legalizing drugs will not eliminate illegal drug sales because the reverse is true.

SHARE Calls for the legalization of drugs ignore the science

An investigator in Honduras stands next to more than 70 bundles of suspected cocaine found inside a tanker truck on the island of Roatan.


Calls for the legalization of drugs ignore the science and the facts.

The Sun-Times has published commentaries in the past two weeks promoting the legalization of drugs. There was an essay by Rev. Al Sharp on Sept 5 and a letter from James Gierach on Sept 19. Both writers, in my view, are ignoring the science and the facts.

Legalizing drugs will not eliminate illegal drug sales because the reverse is true. When drugs are legalized, the drug dealers sell more illegal drugs to minors who cannot buy at dispensaries. They also sell at lower prices to adult buyers because no state or local tax is included, and the source of the drug and its contents are not subject to expensive regulation.

The drugs being proposed for legalization are subject to abuse and addiction. With no legal barrier, use will increase and so will addiction. After legalization in Colorado, illegal drug sales increased, highway accidents and fatalities due to drug use increased, treatment admissions went up and homelessness increased.

We have laws that, by their very existence, reduce illegal behavior. It is the legal drugs that are causing the skyrocketing drug overdose deaths. Fentanyl, OxyContin and other opioids are legal medicines but sold and used illegally.

Peter Bensinger
Former administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Former Executive Director, Chicago Crime Commission

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Biden and the border

For President Joe Biden to say “it’s horrible what you saw” at the border is like an arsonist bemoaning a fire he has set. Biden created the conditions that led to a huge surge of illegal immigrants, leaving the problem for our front-line border agents to try and address.

Melissa Stevens, Evanston

Bike riders worst traffic offenders

In a recent letter, John Livanich of Oak Lawn applauded Chicago’s decision to add 100 miles of bike lanes while chiding bad drivers, especially those who threaten the safety of bicyclists. ”There should be severe consequences for drivers who refuse to put their phones down,” Livanich wrote. “Only then will cyclists be safe.”

This call for harsh punishment for distracted driving would carry more weight if just once, in the 24 years that I’ve lived in Chicago, a bicyclist had ever stopped at a stop sign. I’ve actually seen some stop at red lights, but many just slow down and pedal right through the intersection, endangering everyone but mostly themselves.

James FitzGerald, Edgewater

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