War on drugs does nothing but harm

To the editor:

In his March 17 column, Steve Sebelius discussed Nevada Assemblyman Joe Hogan’s proposed legislation to legalize marijuana in Nevada. Mr. Sebelius was spot on in his assessment that it is time to legalize the use of marijuana for adults 21 years older and allow possession up to one ounce for all uses including recreation.

In the 1970s President Nixon put the “War on drugs” on steroids. Having watched and occasionally been involved as a law enforcement agent I’ve seen that the war never decreased the use of illicit drugs but instead created more casualties and increased crime.

We created the drug crime syndicates who are responsible for the deaths of millions of people over the years and our justice system has made criminals out of people who otherwise might be responsible citizens but now unable to get a job because of a criminal record.

We have at times with major drug busts pushed the cost of illegal drugs to record prices. This has caused local crime such as burglaries and robberies to increase in order to pay for the drugs.

We should have learned from the alcohol Prohibition days that you couldn’t legislate vices. Instead we created modern day Al Capones and organized crime syndicates by outlawing drugs.

The only way to slow down drug use in this country is not incarceration, but instead to continue to educate the public that certain drug use is detrimental to your health. People will continue to use drugs like alcohol to escape the reality of everyday society and to feel a euphoric high.

MICHAEL O. KREPS

LAS VEGAS

Senior drug peddlers

To the editor:

Isn’t it interesting that the doctors are now on the radar for over prescribing pain medications? Nevada Senate Bill 75 wouldn’t have been on the docket had our society not been so overprescribed pain medications that are so harsh that individuals become addicted.

Pain management clinics have become glorified drug dealers nationwide and because of this epidemic legislation needs to be put forth holding these overprescribing clinics in check.

The narcotics prescribed, overprescribed and distributed were to be managed by the pharmacy benefit managers nationwide, ensuring people weren’t abusing the system. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened. When individuals go after the clinics, the doctors and the pharmacies you get a run-around and people die!

The real issue of overprescribing is how these meds pour into the community. Seniors — that’s right, seniors — acquire the meds via co-pay and redistribute to the drug dealers for profit. Then the drug dealers distribute for more profit at the expense of our youth.

Oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, Demerol, Lortab, Percodan and Oxycontin are so overprescribed and overused it’s pathetic! Several of these meds are used in extreme cases of cancer to make the patient comfortable prior to death. Yet doctors prescribe these same meds for pain in lower back, shoulders and buttocks.

Regardless if they pass the law now or in the future we need to stop burying our heads in the sand and make sure that our friends, neighbors and more importantly our children are protected from these pimps with authority.

I’ve seen so many cases of abuse, addiction, rehab, relapse and death it sickens me! We the people need to understand our responsibility to one another and figure out how to properly deal with issues that pills just cannot fix.

PATRICK CASALE

LAS VEGAS

Military justice

To the editor:

Congratulations to reader J.J. Schrader for pointing out how a headline hungry Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-N.Y., can question the authority of a senior Air Force officer, but not question the president for pardoning several convicted criminals (as well as releasing aliens in this country illegally) “with a stroke of a pen.”

President Obama learned the art of pardoning from the expert, Bill Clinton, who on his final day in office pardoned 140 or more convicted criminals, including corrupt congressmen, drug dealers, postal thieves, tax cheats and so on.

One who benefited the most was multi billionaire Marc Rich, who fled the country while being indicted for tax evasion and suspected of making illegal oil trades with Iran during the hostage crisis.

About the time of his pardon, his then-wife Denise made a huge donation to the Clinton library. Denise has since renounced her citizenship and left the country, which will save her millions in taxes.

The military legal system is well known, I’m sure, by anyone who has ever served and it operates quite efficiently. It’s not perfect, but is not subject to the abuses found in the civilian court system. I don’t think as many felons could walk, based on the highly paid defense teams and tactics that are allowed in civilian courts, if they were tried in the military justice system.

And the last thing the armed forces need is to have their system of justice questioned by power greedy politicians who forgive and forget only when it benefits their party

ROBERT LATCHFORD

HENDERSON

Openness

To the editor:

Setting aside for the moment the smarminess of Sen. Harry Reid’s remarks about the tragic Marine Corps training accident in Hawthorne, I find his position on sequestration confusing.

Harry Reid doesn’t like the president’s budget sequestration scheme. But he doesn’t seem to mind the administration’s sequestration of the Benghazi survivors.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to hear from those individuals what really happened in Benghazi? Where are they, Harry?

ROBERT R. KESSLER

LAS VEGAS

Renewable energy

To the editor:

Charles Gould’s March 12 letter “Send them to school” hits the mark. Why not do this? And for those not school-inclined, there’s still lots to do — roadside trash pickup, weeding yards for the genuinely physically disabled. Maybe in the future we could have ongoing flash mobs taking place on pressure-sensitive electricity-generating floors. People dance, get healthy, provide a bit of electricity. Could be a wash, but not a lose-lose either.

CHERYL MILNE

LAS VEGAS

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