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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 28, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THe LtlntmlDGE HERAID Wednesday, Martti 28, 1973 Sick economy needs new mechanism By Anthony Westell, Toronto Star commentator The growing drug problem The final report of the LeUain com- mission on non-medical use of drugs will be released in June. It will focus on heroin addiction, a problem it says is growing more serious in Canada. It is expected to urge that treatment of addiction be made more effective, and especially that it be made much more widely available. Undoubtedly the problem is grow- in the Narcotics Control Act or in the manner in which it is enforced. What of the future, then? Is heroin addiction to simply grow, and the government to confine its efforts to prosecuting and punishing, and treat- ing the few who come forward to seek assistance? Surely not. There must be a better answer than a 150 per cent increase in addiction each year. Perhaps there is an indication Ing. Figures released in Ottawa last where to seek for an answer in the week show a startling 150 per cent increase in heroin addiction in the past year, from in 1971 to 000 In 1972. Also, the average age of addicts has dropped quite noticeably so young people comprise a high pro- portion of the new users. Most of the are hooked for life. There is little hope without treat- ment, and the best estimates indi- cate only about 10 per cent of Can- ada's addicts are undergoing treat- ment of any sort. Under present Canadian law spe- fmdings of a commission that stud- ied similar problems in the U.S., the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse set up by President Nixon two years ago. This group, after exhaustive study, concluded that contemporary public attitudes contribute significantly to perpetuat- ing the problem, and must change before there is much hope for real improvement. What is needed, if one accepts the commission's findings, is for the pub- lic to abandon some long-cherished OTTAWA A few days ba fore Christmas, 1969, I was in- vited with two other journal- ists to lunch with Prime Min- ister Pierre Trudeau. He was a few minutes lole at the table, I recall, because he came straight from a chat with Bealle John Lention and Yoko which had taken longer than expected. We talked about that for a time, but mostly we heard about the economy and rising prices because Trudeau was trying to convince tlie country that he was deadly ser- ious about beating inflation. Our lunch was part ot the process of communicating the message, and no doubt other groups were invited around for a private chat. In public, at about the same time, Trudeau issued his famous warning that even if unemployment rose above 6 per cent, he would not let up pressure on the economy. The danger as he saw it and explained it over lunch, was that decision makers in the private sector of the economy union leaders, investors were losing confi- dence in ttve ability of demo- cratic government to control in- flation. They calculated that to be effective, government would have to be so lough it would become unpopular and the pol- iticians would finally lose their nerve and let up op austerity. So inflation would continue. Thinking ihat way, decision makers made allowances for inflation in their plans. They raised prices, sought higher wages or demanded higher rales of interest, to try to keep even with the declining value of money, and in the process they inqreased inflationary pressure. Trudeau thought it vilal to restore the credibility of gov- ernment. He emphasized at luncli that he would accept di- vision in his cabinet, unrest in his party and the prospect of defeat in the next election, and still not lose his political nerve. The' decision makers should not bank on him giving in to inflation, he said, because he wouldn't. He still hoped at that lime that if he couM persuade the country he was in .earnest, a program of voluntary restraint could be effective, and so con- tinued austerity and the econo- mic squeeze would be unneces- sary. He did not want or ex- pect that unemployment would go above 6 per cent. What poli- tician would? But he did want people to understand that that would not be the breaking point the point at which he would lose his nerve. The truth is, of course, that he did yield to political pres- sure. As unemployment rose and the attacks on his policy grew ever more fierce he re- laxed the squeeze before there was any real evidence that in- flation had been licked. By the middle of 1970, the government had switched from a policy of restraint to one of expansion, although it took much longer than expected to get the econ- cifically the Narcotics Control Act misconceptions about drags, and virtually anything to do with heroin -1--' is a crime; simple possession can be punished by up to seven years in pri- son, trafficking by life imprisonment. A user of heroin, then, he is more likely to be regarded as a crim- inal than as a sick person, and to be dealt with in the first instance by police rather than by medical author- ities. Not surprisingly, few addicts seek treatment voluntarily as long as they can get their hands on enough heroin to meet their needs. And being already classed as criminals because of their habit, they have small rea- son to be scrupulous about how to get it. to start recognizing what is important and what is not. To illustrate, the commission points out that alcohol "without doubt is the most serious drug problem in the country and that excessive use of barbitu- rates has become a "most serious hidden drug problem. Yet the use of alcohol is not only accepted, but is encouraged by all available means of promotion and advertising, and excessive use of bar- biturates totally ignored, while vast amounts of money and manpower are invested in frantic but apparently almost futile efforts to deal with the use of other drugs as criminal. The prospects of a break in this when it might be more .j tiriaM siitni- and far more effective to consider sad pattern are not bright. No signi- ficant change is contemplated either it as sickness. RUSSELL BAKER Anything lor publicity WASHINGTON Plans to re-enact the was not ended until Congress passed an emergency bill providing every member of hanging of Nathan Hale as part of the Am- emergency bill provi erican Revolution bicentennial celebration the union a private dressing room within in 1976 have been scrapped because of a computer projection of what would prob- ably happen. The projection was based on a multi- tude of data fed into the computer rela- tive rope strengths during the revolution- ary period and at present, temperature and rainfall figures then and now, social and political patterns In 1776 when Hale was executed and as they are expected to be in 1976. With such information the computer can project the outcome of the re-enactment of any revolutionary event with less than 4 per cent error. Here is how it projected re-enactment of the Nathan Hale incident: When it started casting for the Hale ex- ecution, the committee was under severe criticism for the costs it had run up at Philadelphia in July to re-enact the sign- ing of the Declaration of Independence, starring John Wayne as Benjamin Frank- lin. To cut expenses, the committee decided that instead of using a professional actor to play Hale it would use a convict who was scheduled to be hanged anyhow to- aerial hijacking, capital punishment for such crimes having been at that time re- stored, thanks to President Nixon. The condemned hijacker gladly agreed to fill Bale's noose in order to get the piilidty. He had taken to hijacking in the first place because it seemed the easy way to become famous and had diverted the fatal airplane to Los Angeles in the hope that news photos of him disembarking there might lead to a movie contract. The re-enactment was endangered when the actors' union threatened to throw a picket line around the scaffold if the com- mittee tried to hang a nonunion Hale. In the resulting compromise the union agreed to let the hijacker be hanged, but he had to pay three months' union dues in advance. Also, the hangman's role had to go to a professional actor who would re- ceive billing above the title and a pri- vate dressing room within 75 feet of the gallows. This agreement infuriated the Brother- hood of American Hangmen, who retali- ated by ordering a work slowdown that 50 feet of his gallows and night differential pay for executions between midnight and 6 a.m. This costly settlement provoked renewed pressure for the government to dismantle the entire re-enactment program, but it was saved by president Nixon. The president's decision to attend the Na- than Hale re-enactment and deliver a major speech persuaded the television networks to give it live coverage despite the usual 'protests that what American audiences needed on television was more Sesame Streets, and fewer hangings. Until then there had been little enthusi- asm among television men for giving ex- pensive time and talent to coverage of an event hi which a publicity seeker would recite a single line "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" and then be hanged for hijacking. The presidential address changed their attitudes. All networks were there when the hijacker, wearing powdered wig and three cornered hat, was led onto the gal- lows, waving at the cameras and giving autographs. The president's speech elucidated his conviction that capital punishment, regard- less of certain soft-headed judges, was a splendid tfay to deter crime. He cited the British army's hanging of Nathan Hale for spying. Today, very few Americans are- engaged in spying on the British. The hanging itself was disastrous. The actor playing the hangman all his pre- vious experience had been in portraying quick recovery from upset stomach in tele- vision commercials became violently ill at the idea of actually dispatching the hi- jacker and refused to go through with it. In his suffering, he accidentially fell through the trap door of the gallows and knocked himself out. The delighted crowd, believing he had hanged himself, surged over the gallows in such confusion that the hijacker was able to sneak away unnoticed and hijack the president's plane. He ordered it flown to Washington where, he assumed the intense concentra- tion of press photographers available to snap his picture disembarking from the plane would assure him of worldwide pub- licity, profile and front face. Set him some lines By Dung Walker The congregational officers were induct- ed a few Sundays ago in United Church, The newly elected mem- bers of the committee of stewards and all those holding office in the United Church Women were "done" together; (he newly elected ciders were called up separately. Bob Dunn, who had been among the lat- "That darn hypochondriac is back Drug hysteria, hypocrisy exposed By James M. Markham, New York Times commentator tcr group, sard to me after the service: "f was relieved when the minister handled us separately lor a moment there I was afraid he was going to include the eldera with the rabble." Tt would he appropriate, think many of liic congregation would agree, if the minister had elder Dunn write some scriptural lines by way of doing penance. NEW YORK The final re- port of the national commission on marijuana and drug abuse, is a. long, conscious attempt to deflate some of the hysteria and, gently, exposes what it perceives as the hypocrisy that Americans have invested in the "drug problem." Yet, at the same time, the 481-page docu- ment, the fruit of two years of hearings and illus- trates the limited option fac- ing drug policymakers in the United States. For tha commission shies away from recommending rad- ical departures such as her- oin maintenance or the aboli- tion of possession law for drugs like heroin and cocaine that might open up new problems. Its recommendations amount to cautious tinkering with the pres- ent, essentially restrictive ap- proach. For that reason, according to several experts who had ad- vance access to the document, the commission's most lasting contribution may not be its formal recommendations but rather its low-key, nondramatic analysis of "drug abuse" a term that it says ought to be stricken from the official vocab- ulary of the government. "The term has no functional utility and has become no more than an arbitrary code word for that drug use which is presently considered the commission says. "Contin- ued use of this term, with iU emotional overtones, will serve only to perpetuate confused public attitudes about drug-us- ing behavior." Instead of issuing a stinring appeal to eradicate the "drug the commission reminds its readers (most of them users of some kind of drugs, accord- ing to its surveys) that people have been trying to alter their states of consciousness with drugs for centuries and are un- likely lo desist in America in 1973. Moreover, the commission underscores the view that young and old Americans alter their consciousness with alcohol much more often than they do with other (and more feared) And alcohol is, by and large, much more harmful lo ttic body, tlic commission "The imprecision of the term 'drug' has had serious social the report says. "Because alcohol is excluded, the public is conditioned to re- gard a martini as something fundamentally different from a marijuana cigarette, a barbitu- rate capsule or a bag of heroin." As it reported a year ago in its formal statement on mari- juana which recommended "decriminalizing" the posses- sion of that drug the com- mission again found (hat people who dislike or fear other people will often express outrage not over their general behavior, but over their drug-taking behavior. Specifically, many Americans see an intimate link between drug use and crime, special surveys showed. Yet, after re- viewing the literature and con- ducting its own studies, the commission found "it is diffi- cult if not impossible to estab- lish a direct relationship be- Letters to the editor Intensify training I don't think it is fair to ex- pect students to settle down, become interested and absorb their school work after being free for on hour to attend hoc- key or curling. That is expect- ing the studenls to do some- thing, we as adults, could nev- er do. We are making a very feeble attempt to imitate Russia's sys- tem of athletic training. In Russia and other countries, a student showing an aptitude for hockey or other sports is en- rolled in a special school where he receives five hours of class- room instruction as well as in- tensive training in his particu- lar choice of sports. Taught by qualified teachers the sports training is intensified from a initial two hours to six hours daily. They don't play at being athletes, they make it a serious business. Our attitude of placing sec- ondary importance on class- room instruction is resulting in increased numbers of dropouts and delinquents. I attended the little Red School house where we receiv- ed five hours instruction per day, and we were not allowed to forget It. That is what the school was for. DICK FISHER Lcthbridgs not emotion My thanks go out lo Mr. G. Hales for his letter regarding the Knights of Columbus pres- entation on abortion, for trying a rational approach to a sub- ject usually smothered by emo- tional responses. There has to be freedom to use every method known to sci- ence to prevent unwanted births. For all of us with any con- science at all: 1. Consideration must be giv- en to the millions of babies under two years old who dio daily due lo starvation. 2. Consideration must be giv- en to the tens of thousands of babies who dio annually in North America from the "bat- tered baby syndrone" the re- sult of parents who cannot cope. 3. Consideration must be giv- en to the hundreds of thousands of babies and children who nev- er become statistics but suffer the trauma of being unwanted, uncared for and neglected but somehow manage to survive. When these above problems has been solved, perhaps then we can tackle the lesser ones such as whether or not we should allow abortions. There is much more responsibility in- volved than merely allowing a fetus to be born ONE MORE CONCERNED CITIZEN Lethbrldce tween crime and the use various drugs." Similarly, despite optimistic claims by some people, the commission' found no "suffici- ently responsible research" demonstrating that treatment programs, methadone or drug- free, reduced crime. The crim- inality of drug users, it found, is often independent of their drug taking. Although eager to demythol- ogize (he problem, the commis- sioners by no means furnish a defence of drug-taking and en- dorse the enforcement efforts of the bureau of narcotics and dangerous drugs, customs and local police departments. In the past, this country has been split between those favor- ing a stem, repressive criminal approach to the drug problem and those favoring an under- standing, compassionate "med- ical" approach. The commissioners have ad- opted what might be called a "liberal law-and-order" stance, simultaneously urging therapy for the addict and continued prosecution of dealers in drugs that are, after all, dangerous. This stance is symbolized by their centerpiece recommenda- tion for the unification of both enforcement and treatment bur- eaucracies in a new controlled substances administration. Two of the commission's most prominent members Senators Harold E. Hughes and Jacob K. Javils dissented from this recommendation, and some people in Washington think that it is quixotic. But even if the controlled substances adminis- tration never comes into being, the sentiment behind the pro- posal could be the basis for an American conseasus on the drug problem. omy growing at a fast enough to reduce unemploy- ment. In terms of electoral poli- cies, Trudeau managed to get the worst of bolh worlds. He got the blame for dreatmg un- employment without credit for controlling prices. More seriously, the private decision makers seemed to have beer, right in calculating that inflation was beyond tho conlrol of politicians using the customary weapons of fiscal and monetary restraint while relying on Modern society was apparent ly no longer prepared to exer- cise restraint or have tt _un- posed by government. So prices continue to rise, and in its re- cent brief to 3 Commons com- mittee, the Canadian Manu- facturers' Association (CMA) said that inflation is now a greater menace than at any time in Canadian history. There is a tendency on Par- liament Hill to dismiss anything from the CMA as just another piece of propaganda from the gents with the top hals, fat cigars and dollar bills spilling cut of their pockets. But this time the businessmen's lobby may be right. As Trudeau knew in 1969, in- flation is not simply an econo- mic phenomenon, but a slate oE mind. When prices have been rising too fast, too long, people lose faith in the value of money and begin to build further price increases into their plans and expectations. From some personal experi- ence recently, I suspect that that loss of faith has now spread beyond a few far-sighted decision makers to numbers of quiet ordinary Canadians. People with a tew hundred or a few thousand dollars in sav- ings accounts or in savings bonds are beginning to worry. Even with interest added, they believe their dollars will have less purchasing power next year than they do now. And who's going to convince them that they are wrong? Tru- deau tried when he had a strong political image and majority support in the Commons, and failed. What can he achieve now that his popular appeal is weak and his government Is at the mercy of the opposition par- ties? The CMA and the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) are both strongly opposed to income and price controls in present circumstances a double-bar- relled lobby which any politi- cian must view with respect. In fact, among the politi- cians, only the Conservatives are 'talking tentatively about controls, and they seem to be thinking in terms of a tempor- ary freeze. But a temporary freeze probably wouldn't work any better than Trudeau's tem- porary squeeze in the 1960s. The far-sighted would still calculate that as the pressure of criticism mounted, the gov- ernment would give way. The expectation of inflation might be curbed for a short while, but not for long. What is needed is a new mft- chanism for regulating the eco- nomy so that it can operate at maximum efficiency without -generating excessive real de- mand or unreal and inflation- ary expectations. The socialists used to think they had the blue print, but they seem to have lost their faith, just as the cap- italists have lost confidence in the free market and govern- ments have lost credibility and the power of leadership. So at a time of growing pub- lic concern, there is an ab- sence of real political debate that is a dangerous situ- ation in democracy. of 'Crazy Capers' 1 think they'll have to re-set it. The Lcthbruigc Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethiridge, Alberta tETHBRIDGE HERALD 10. LTD., Proprietors and Published 1905 -1954, by Boa. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration Ha. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and tho Canadian Dally Nftwspaow PuWUhers' Association and the Audit Bureau of clrculitlona CLEO W MOWERS, Edilor l.-.l Publlther THOMAS K. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILUHG WILLIAM HAY ManaoJnQ Editor Associate Editor- ROY f. MILES DOUOLAi K. WALKER tdvitllslng Manser Edirorul Page Edilor THE HERALP SERVES THE ;