Pubdate: Fri, 13 Jul 2001
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2001 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Robert Stewart


District Attorney Ralph Martin claims that the defeat last year of
Question 8 -- the voter initiative that would have used drug money for
court-ordered drug treatment -- was good for the Commonwealth
("O'Connor's message hit home," Letters, June 26). Yet, according to a
federal survey last year, Massachusetts leads the nation in illegal drug
use, with the highest rates of drug use by 12- to 17-year-olds.

Martin, a leading opponent of Question 8, implies that the late actor
Carroll O'Connor lost his son simply to "drug use." Hugh O'Connor killed
himself in 1995 when facing arrest for his drug habit, which could have
meant from one to three years in prison. Last November, Californians
changed that law to mandate treatment, not prison, for drug users.

It's worth asking: If Hugh O'Connor could have chosen treatment, would
he be alive today? How many lives and families would have been saved
here if Question 8 had been approved?

Robert Stewart, Coalition for Fair Treatment, Boston
- ---
MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk