A letter to Sean Penn: I congratulate you on your unsuccessful attempt (your words) to create a dialog on the failed "drug policies" in the USA. What better place to start than a discussion with the world's leading provider of those drugs.
You effectively explained your reasons for making your overture a few nights ago on "60 Minutes" toward "El Chapo." I agree he is not the Boogie Man in this so-called Drug War.
Illegal drugs did not become an issue in this country until around 1920, or at the same time we created the "Volstead Act" outlawing alcohol consumption from 1920-1933 (18th and 21st Amendments to the Constitution). How did that turn out? Some day in the future, it may be said that morality can't be legislated.
My father was a Detroit City policeman between 1929 and 1954. He watched as John F. Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy, ushered row boats across the narrowest part of the river from Canada carrying whisky and gin.
My father, the wise man that he was, always made it clear to me that when it came to alcohol abuse, prostitution or drug abuse, we always went after the wrong people. We went after the supplier when we should have gone after the consumer.
We, of course, all know that will never happen, as the big users of the expensive drugs are the influential among us who have the financial clout to avoid any severe penalties that might have created a deterrent.
This dialog about our failed attempt, over the last 100 years, to eliminate or minimize drug usage in this country must take place and you, Sean Penn, made a bold attempt at doing just that. The discussion should evolve around one of three choices: 1. Go after the supplier. 2. Go after the user. 3. Legalize.
I hope we can all see that the first choice has been a total failure, and we can't afford to continue to waste billions of dollars we spend each year on so-called interdiction.