DRUG WAR PROFITS AT STAKE
Thomas Ravenel’s Feb. 5 commentary regarding legalizing drugs gives me
grave concern. Legalization could severely impact the socio-economic
fabric of our state. He asks, ‘Has all that incarcerating (of drug
Yes! The Drug War ‘industrial complex’ is thriving.
South Carolina law enforcement agencies, criminal courts and prison
systems are expanding. As a defense attorney, I fear legalization
could reduce the number of employed prosecutors, public defenders and
judges who handle drug cases. Judges and lawyers would come off
government payrolls. I say, let’s keep them in state and federal courts.
Drug legalization could devastate rural communities where prisons
employ thousands. We need a steady source of convicted drug users as a
stimulus for these communities. Otherwise, we better have a plan for
out-of-work guards, prison builders, food service workers and
When non-violent drug offenders are convicted on felony charges, we
don’t have to compete with them for scholarships or jobs.
Maybe the money saved by rationally downsizing the Drug War industrial
complex, could be diverted to drug addiction programs, re-training
prison workers for ‘green’ or education jobs.
Money could be used for infrastructure instead of prisons.
The original goals of prohibition — to reduce drug use, protect kids
and reduce crime — are no longer important.
The Drug War ‘gravy train’ may defy logic, but it sure is good for the
Guy J. Vitetta
Attorney at Law
Seven Farms Drive
Pubdate: Wed, 9 Feb 2011
Source: Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC)