After reading last week’s story on the high rate of drug use among Oak Park and River Forest High School students, I can’t help but think of how backwards our current “war on drugs” really is. [More drugs, more drinking by teens, News, May 26]

We have a CIA and federal government that have, for years, been importing illegal drugs into this country to fund their activities. Don’t believe me? Why do you think a CIA aircraft that crash-landed in Yucatan, Mexico, in 2007 was found with 3.2 tons of cocaine? Our military is also protecting the opium crop in Afghanistan. Watch the YouTube video “We tolerate the cultivation of opium poppies.” Not to mention that the production of heroin in Afghanistan has increased almost tenfold since the U.S.-led invasion of the Taliban began.

At the same time, drug-enforcement agents are known to break into someone’s house in the middle of the night with guns drawn, shoot the family dogs, and scare the kids to death because there was a small bag of marijuana in the living room. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in favor of illegal drug use. But shouldn’t our families, religious institutions and communities be teaching us values instead of the federal government? Should it be against the law to make a personal lifestyle choice if it isn’t hurting anyone else? Not only is it authoritarian, but it is also very discriminatory. Statistics show that African Americans are arrested and imprisoned at much higher rates than other races for nonviolent drug crimes.

Also consider the gang problems we have in American cities. Most of the murders that they commit are from protecting their drug business, of which they have a monopoly. When the alcohol prohibition took place, we saw a big rise in organized crime, which tapered off when alcohol was legal again.

The real reason that the drug problem is so bad is because our society has lost its morality. That is something that is completely out of the hands of our government.

•  Eric Carpenter is an Oak Park resident and a member of Campaign for Liberty.

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