Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jun 2001
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2001 Detroit Free Press
Author: Cynthia Heenan


He and I might not agree on all the answers, but Free Press publisher
Heath Meriwether is certainly asking the right questions about the
qualities we want in the next mayor ("Visions of the next mayor:
Detroit needs a leader, bridge-builder and more," June 17). I also
want to hear what the mayoral candidates have to say about drug policy
issues. Will the next mayor acknowledge the "drug problem" as a public
health and economic issue, rather than a crime problem that just needs
more cops, judges and prisons?

What will the candidates do to make treatment available on demand? How
will they educate youths about drugs? What alternatives to drug
dealing will they make available for the bright, young entrepreneurs
of our city?

What are they going to do about making quality day care and low-income
housing available? What are they going to do, or push the state to do,
to make realistic mental health care and treatment available?

Would they support treating possession of a personal-use quantity of
marijuana or other drugs as a misdemeanor subject to a $25-$50 fine?
Do they support legalization of medical-use marijuana? Do they intend
to let the county prosecutor and local police continue to pad their
budgets by entrapping people in petty crimes - such as attempted
purchase of personal-use quantities of drugs, attempted solicitation
- - seizing their vehicles and then extorting large fines?

Cynthia Heenan

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