In my "Drug Update Part II" last Thursday, I outlined several components of Washington's drug war, which involves local drug dealers from the laid-back "Sell-Enough-to-Use-Free" school as taught at the Lorton Reformatory versus Jamaican proponents of the more aggressive "Harder They Come" school of economic advancement.
Today, in Part III, I offer some of the responses from readers on what should be done to stop the war. Almost to a person, they say that we have to make it harder for drug dealers to do business -- mainly by reducing the demand for drugs. Here are their suggestions.
Identify major drug markets and patrol those areas with teams of three police officers who carry submachine guns, stun guns and high-powered rifles with scopes.
Increase organized crime intelligence-gathering operations, including the use of wiretaps and camera surveillance.
Declare martial law and suspend the Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure.
Bring in the National Guard.
Arrest a high-profile yuppie drug user and make an example out of him or her.
Publish the names, addresses and photos of all people from whom drugs have been confiscated.
Pass laws that allow law enforcement officials to automatically confiscate automobiles used to transport drugs.
Allow the Central Intelligence Agency to contaminate the cocaine market with a lookalike substance that causes diarrhea, a heart attack or AIDS.
Allow the CIA to assassinate known drug kingpins.
Let the drug dealers kill themselves off.
Refuse hospitalization and treatment to all drug overdose victims.
Treat the situation as a firefighter would a house that is already three-quarters burned: Keep the fire contained and let it burn out.
Decriminalize drugs so people in need of treatment won't feel so stigmatized and reluctant to seek help.
Legalize drugs and stop financing the underworld. (Rationale: If people want to ruin their lives, let them.)
Treat drug abuse as a disease that hits regardless of race, sex, income or education and by doing so create an atmosphere in which anyone who wants treatment can get it.
Pass a law that pays men to be heads of households and rewards them for keeping their children drug-free, just the opposite of the welfare laws that have, in effect, paid women for being heads of households.
Fund a National Institutes of Health project to develop a cocaine blockage drug, which prevents cocaine from working on a user, and force anyone arrested on cocaine violations to take it.
Arrange elementary school tours of St. Elizabeths Hospital, so children can see firsthand the long-term effects of PCP and crack cocaine use.
Sentence juvenile drug offenders to care for PCP patients at St. Elizabeths.
When D.C. schools end for the day, bring in the Recreation Department to hold after-school activities -- including swimming lessons, music lessons, dance and reading sessions, 4-H Club, etc.
Require that all schools teach courses on chemical-free life styles and nonviolence.
Hug your child every day.
Regardless of how you may feel about any of these suggestions, one thing is clear to me: The town is talking and thinking about drugs. This is a good sign. But it is not enough.
Next week in "Drug Update Part IV," I will tell you which of the above ideas are most likely to work.