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June 2006
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ABC News covers the Vigil for Lost Promise — both of them

The DEA’s New Groove by Arthur Delaney.

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2006 — The federal agency whose agents kick down doors and storm houses with guns drawn will soon pick up a new weapon to wage its war: candles.
At its headquarters in Virginia, the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with a number of drug awareness and prevention organizations, will host a vigil to remember young people who have lost their lives to illegal drug use.
The agency is promoting “A Vigil for Lost Promise,” the first DEA event of its kind, with a Web site, www.vigilforlostpromise.com that profiles eight young people who died from heroin and huffing. […]
Some people who oppose the more familiar tactics of the DEA — pursuing and arresting drug traffickers — are not impressed by the vigil.
“If it’s a drug enforcement agency. Why are they doing this kind of thing?” says Pete Guither, an Illinois University administrator who on the side writes a blog criticizing the war on drugs. He believes many of the problems associated with drug abuse stem simply from the fact that drugs are illegal.
Guither says he feels sorry for families who have lost members to drug abuse, and he would support the vigil if it weren’t part of the DEA’s “propaganda war.”
Guither has put together a spoof site (www.vigilforlostpromise.org) lamenting the loss of lives in drug raids and mocking the DEA’s apparent sympathy.
Guither’s site appears above the DEA’s site when “Vigil for Lost Promise” is typed into Google. It looks just like the DEA’s site, until phrases like “Our view is that the DEA, and the other prohibitionist groups who sponsor that site, are hypocrites, since they are, in fact, partially to blame in many drug deaths” appear.

Welcome, ABC News readers.
And any VigilForLostPromise.com supporters — before you start flaming, remember:

  1. Drug Policy reformers care about the lives lost to drugs, and we feel for the loss felt by their families. We also care about the lives lost to the drug war and feel for their families as well.
  2. Oppressive laws and enforcement didn’t prevent the deaths being mourned, and there’s no evidence that increasing the penalties would have either.
  3. Many overdose deaths have been caused by the drug war. Think in particular about the recent rash of deaths from tainted heroin. As Cliff Thornton says “There is no drug known to man which becomes safer when its production and distribution are handed over to criminals.”
  4. More reasons the drug war contributes to drug deaths are listed here.

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