August 13, 1986


Time and Life Bldg.

Rockefeller Center

New York, NY 10020

To the Editors:

Apparently there is something intrinsically wrong with our government's escalating “War on drugs” [Nation, August 18, 1986].  The more the government tries to repress drugs, the worse things get.  History has shown repeatedly that you cannot legislate morality, nor does anyone have a right to.  The real problem is the growth in the number of people who have a vested interest in sustaining the multi-billion-dollar drug “industry” created by the laws against drugs.  In addition to dealers, money launderers, law-enforcement agents, social workers, psychiatrists, physicians, lawyers, (deficit-producing) bureaucrats, etc., we now have the drug testers who will lose if the drug problem is solved.

The only reasonable solution, in a free society, is gradual, but complete, legalization accompanied by unbiased education.  Employers have a right, sometimes a duty, to demand sobriety on the job, but people should be allowed to do as they please elsewhere, provided they do not interfere with the rights of others.  Taking drugs does not in and of itself interfere with the rights of anyone.  The legalization of drugs will remove the thrill of breaking the law and the incentive to get people “hooked”; end the suffering caused by unmetered doses, impurities, substitutes, and substandard paraphernalia; move a huge segment of the underground and extralegal economy into the legitimate economy, taking money away from criminals, eliminating crime and violence, and restoring many talented people to useful endeavor.

Thomas L. Wayburn, PhD

Route 4 Box 559

Potsdam, NY 13676

Note.  This was published in Time Magazine in a timely fashion, however I have lost my copy.  It was my first anti-prohibition publication.  I had been talking about it since 1960 or earlier.