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Testimony of Paul Moore, September 29, 1988
THE SCOTT NEWMAN CENTER

chaic Rangetr tomtttoodenbers: My name is Paul Moore, I am the community Liaison for the Scott Newman Center. since 1980, the center has been dedicated to preventing drug abuse through education. Our efforts include media education and ene development of prevention films, school curricula and books aimed at young people and their parents.

Our Center's headquarters is in Los Angeles, and as an Angeleno, I am intimately aware of how s nog affects us. AC its most benign it obscures a clear view of reality; at its worst it is unhealthful and may cause permanent damage to your health, even death.

The same can be said about the legalization of drugs.

The Center is unequivocally opposed to the legalizing of drugs. The more time we spend debating this polluted idea, the more currency we give it, the greater risk we run of permanently damaging our society. Why are we not spending this time in the more constructive task of developing sound prevention, treoLUCHTE and rehabilitation policies?

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The answer, of

Bourse

is that the topic of legalization is media-glamorous y and makes for a facile, sensationalized discussion on talk shows, in op-ed pages and in newsmagazines. We as a society been addicted to the hype of miracle solutions that look good but don't work.

In arguing for the legalization of drugs, proponents mistake eflect for cause. In their simplistic world view, crime and official corruption here and abroad seem to have been invented by illegal drugs, and only the magic word--legalization-ois needed for these problems to disappear. Do they think the American public just fell off the turnip truck?

Testimony of Paul Moore, September 29, 1988
THE SCOTT NEWMAN CENTER

Drugs, drug abuse and associated crime are the ugly, visible sores of deeply rooted problems in our society, nation, and world. They are the chickens of neglect coming home to roost. Drugs did not invent poverty, broken homes, gangs or unstable, profiteering foreign governments. Drugs did not invent greed, nor larchkey children, nor the human desire for a quick fix and easy out. Nor, for that matter, did drugs invent the general breakdown of moral and ethical values,

without drugs, these problems remain. with legalized drugo, they become more insidious, more intractable, because society will have deemed one more poison legally acceptable.

There is a darker, underlying current in the arguments for legalizacion--that somehow, if only we would let the ghettoes and barrios have the drugs we assume they want, ene druyyico won't be breaking into the homes and apartments of the rest of us. We will have "sanitized" the problem. The facts are, of course, that drug use and abuse extend well beyond ghettoes and barrios to suburban living rooms and backyards. 2

ghettoes

Not only is such a thought immoral and icresponsible, it accepts real suffering from drug use and abuse as a "cost-effective" trade-off for an imagined decrease in crime. We at the Center do not believe in benign neglect.

The Center, already deeply concerned about media influences, is horrified at the possibility of sending a whole new set of mixed messages to our young people. Let's be honest with ourselves : drugs already have a glamorous and sexy image. If we legalize them, we won't be able to keep drugs--anymore than we have cigarettes and alcohol--out of the hands of our kids. Our natione defforts in the past decade have resulted in mossurobie ellecspon drug consumption and, more importantly, in attitudes towards drug use among youth.

Testimony of Paul Moore, September 29, 1988
THE SCOTT NEWMAN CENTER

with legalization, we throw away all that hard work in one

moment,

ultimately, whether we legalize drugs or not 18 a litmus test for our society and its values. Will we abdicate our responsibility to our children because the going got tough? betus-instead, get going

We have an abiding confidence that we will use our common sense and dispose of this debate once and for all..

STATEMENT

of

MARVIN D. MILLER, ESQUIRE

On Behalf of

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE

REFORM OF MARIJUANA LAWS

Before The

HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON NARCOTICS ABUSE AND CONTROL

29 September 1988

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assist you in coming to grips with the drug problem we all

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recognition that this is not a simple problem but a complex issue

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situation, reexamine the facts, and take new initiatives.

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