Friday, April 20, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 137



Our twenty-year war needs to end

Quiana Pennie

It seems like the war on drugs has always been an issue in the United States. In Houston alone, thousands of citizens are using illegal narcotics every day.

Many citizens feel that the war on drugs is a lost cause; others think that the war can be won with more money and more police power.

The question now is, what course of action should we as a people take to end the drug war?

Houston policymakers have made many attempts to win the war on drugs.

Programs such as the Houston Crackdown coordinate and support volunteer projects in the areas of substance abuse prevention, treatment and law enforcement.

With programs of this nature and child-targeted programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the city hopes to combine prevention and suppression tactics to reduce illegal drug use by the citizens of Houston.

Other drug organizations, such as the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, want the government to change its laws on drug policy.

The organization helps the public educate itself through the distribution of materials about illegal drugs and the government's attempts to end the drug war.

It serves as a focal point, providing those who believe reform is necessary with a way to unite with others of similar beliefs and help translate those beliefs into a politically viable solution.

Parents should take the time with their children to teach them the importance of not using drugs.

They should explain the dangers inherent in drug abuse and provide help on how to say no to peer pressure groups who urge them to try drugs.

Teachers should also take time out to show films about drugs and drug use.

For example, when I was in elementary school we had to see a film about drugs -- and this film was not pretty.

I remember watching a young woman inhaling cocaine to feel the rush of her high. Later that evening she was vomiting the drug out of her system. I'll never forget that.

I thought, "If drugs did that to someone, I'll never take them."

As for drug offenders, they should have jail time but they should also go a treatment center to clean themselves up so when they go back to society, they'll be drug free and capable of staying off the drugs that helped send them to prison. Whether they're clean for the long haul or they begin to use drugs again is up to them.

Although I offer these solutions, I can't guarantee they will work.

The drug war will always be a struggle for our nation, but instead of organizations clashing with each other because of their differences on winning the drug war, they should come together before we all have our hands on the crack pipe.

Pennie, a junior communication major, 
can be reached at

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