Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jun 2000
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Sacramento Bee
Contact:  P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento CA 95852
Authors: Gayle Denney, first LTE, Jay Bergstrom, second LTE
Related: and


Re "Treat, don't jail, illegal drug users?" May 31: I read with great 
excitement that our November ballot may include an initiative that would 
mandate a treatment program, rather than jail, for anyone arrested for 
simple drug possession. It is not surprising that the union representing 
prison guards opposes the initiative.

In the last 20 years of teaching G.E.D. preparation, I have met many adults 
who had previously been incarcerated because of drug use. Prison's badge of 
shame did not change their drug habits. On the contrary, they credit 
programs such as Narcotics Anonymous for ending the terrible leghold of 
drug abuse.

Self-abusing alcohol and tobacco doesn't land good people in prison. Why 
should using other drugs account for 20,000 of California's sons and 
daughters who have no history of serious or violent crime being 
incarcerated? Instead, let's spend our taxpayer money on mandatory drug 

Gayle Denney, Nevada City

Re "Treatment measure blasted," June 3: Of course our drug czar would blast 
the measure. He is faithfully executing orders to represent the 
establishment voice here, the status quo of our treasonous war on cannabis 
consumers. Any threat to a prison-industrial complex, which flourishes like 
a slime mold, must be opposed -- Constitution be damned.

After our rights are restored, the general and his ilk will stand in the 
dock for their heinous drug war crimes. There will be retribution, there 
will be reparations paid to victims. My rights to grow what I want in my 
garden, smoke what I want in my pipe are mine alone, not that of the police 
state that has squelched our liberty. Perhaps codification of this notion 
as an amendment to the Constitution would forestall the coming revolts. 
Perhaps not.

Jay Bergstrom, Sacramento
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