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Crazy Ideas About Drugs; Yes On ‘4’

Columnist Froma Harrop: She'd legalize all drugs.  PHOTO COURTESY CREATORS SYNDICATE

Columnist Froma Harrop: She’d legalize all drugs.

National columnists sometimes write the silliest things. (I am only local and, ipso facto, exempt from that charge!)

Thomas Sowell always seems to write silly things because he’s blinded by his conservatism, and if it’s a Democrat’s idea, it’s bad from the get-go.

Now comes Froma Harrop (it’s an old English name from Cheshire), the 20th most-read columnist in America. She’s been blinded by her liberalism.

She writes that we should legalize all drugs. Not just marijuana, but also end the “war on heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and all the other nastier stuff.”


She says: “The war has fueled gang wars in our cities and enriched the foreign criminal cartels. It has created a vile class system, turning millions of poor and working-class Americans into felons.”

That may be true, but focusing on that ignores the harm hard drugs do to users and to the victims of drug-related crimes.

Harrop believes that by busting drug peddlers we just create more business for other traffickers. That’s like saying by busting armed robbers we’re just creating less competition for other robbers.

The legalize-all-drugs advocacy fits in nicely with the libertarian view of the world, but notice that Americans have consistently failed to swarm to the Libertarian Party.

Harrop says the solution is for government to regulate drug sales. Have you seen much satisfactory government regulation of anything that’s in demand?

Plenty of us have moved over the years toward treatment for drug users rather than just imprisonment. I don’t sense any movement toward encouraging the availability of heroin, cocaine and meth.

On Nov. 4, you’ll be asked to vote on Amendment 4 to the state Constitution to allow the spending of public funds for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs.

I encourage you to vote yes.

Everybody wants more early education opportunities for children. Proponents of Amendment 4 think we should use some public funds for private preschools; opponents say we should have fully funded preschools within the public education system.

Our current constitution reads: “nor shall public funds be appropriated for the support or benefit of any sectarian or nonsectarian private educational institution.” Amendment 4 would make privately operated preschools an exception to that.

The amendment was promoted by state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, who recently lost a try for Congress. It found majority support in the Legislature — even though Ways and Means chairman and now gubernatorial candidate David Ige opposes it.

One of the funding problems causing a dearth of public preschools is that they must pay for unionized teachers and principals, and all the salaries and benefits that come with that. Private schools are not required to. Ige is endorsed and funded by the public school teachers’ union.

Normally, I might say keep public funds in the public schools and let private schools take care of themselves with private means.

But the overriding consideration is to have sufficient preschools next year. A yes vote will do that.