Arthur Saginian | Why People Take Drugs

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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I just finished reading Jonathan Kraut’s article (June 8) where he proposes a “real solution” to our drug crisis. Mr. Kraut’s delivery reminded me very much of the late Harry J. Anslinger, who served as the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics during the presidencies of Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy. He was a supporter of Prohibition, and of the criminalization of drugs, and spearheaded anti-drug policy campaigns. Anslinger was a fanatic and a zealot when it came to narcotics — a fascist by any measure, and quite mad in my own estimation. Something set him off during his impressionable years. Read his life story for that.

The only reason drugs are illegal and we consider their use criminal is because we have written laws to that effect. Change the laws and you change the judgment, and Mr. Kraut is profoundly judgmental. 

Back to the article, Kraut goes after state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Senate Bill 519, calling him naive and his logic twisted. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I could say the same for Kraut. He comes across with bold bullets saying “just do this” and “just do that” if we really want end illegal drug use. Tossing the medieval judgment aside, has Mr. Kraut even ventured to find out why people take drugs in the first place? People take drugs to enter into an altered state of reality, to numb the pain, or to simply kill the boredom. Can you grasp such a concept, Mr. Kraut? Well, can you, or would that be just a bit too far beyond the boundaries of the cramped little box in which you reside? Now you’re seeing where I can get as passionate and zealous as people like Mr. Kraut. 

I suggest everyone read the book “Chasing The Scream,” by Johann Hari. The need to reach an altered state of reality will not go away until we can create a real reality that is pleasant enough to be endured and enjoyed every…single…day. And this world is not it.

Arthur Saginian
Santa Clarita

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