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Leonard L. Frieling Aug. 10, 2022

Politicians Ignore Failed 'War on Drugs' at Their (and Our) Peril

With the Party conventions upon us, the issue of the platforms for the two major parties becomes an item of great significance. Platforms should include realistic policy solutions rather than rhetoric justifying policies we know have failed. A good place to start is with a pragmatic approach to drug abuse in this country. Whether seen as a "liberal" issue or as an issue aligned with basic Republican principles, both parties can "do the right thing" while garnering needed votes. Polls show the voting public is ready for reform of our failed "war on drugs." It's time the parties provided leadership on the issue and advocated truly treating drugs as a public health problem rather than as a criminal matter.

As a former judge for the city of Lafayette, Colorado and as a criminal defense attorney, I have seen the damage that drugs can do. Substance abuse has destroyed many families and ruined a lot of lives. However, I've also seen that as dangerous and destructive as some illicit substances are, the damage they do is magnified a thousand fold by the current war on drugs. Continued

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