Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jul 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Author: Alan Fenster and Jim White


Letters To The Editor

Re "Prop. 36 Eligibility Debated in Courts," July 24: As a criminal
defense attorney, I find it truly astounding that various prosecuting
attorneys around the state, including our local district attorney's
and city attorney's offices, are doing their utmost to prevent
deserving drug addicts from receiving treatment under the precepts of
Prop. 36. Prop. 36 clearly states that it is the will of the people of
California that drug users are to receive treatment, not jail sentences.

Alan Fenster

- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beverly Hills-- It would appear that the prosecutors in Anaheim
weren't content to waste hundreds of billions of taxpayer funds
incarcerating drug offenders in a fruitless effort to eliminate drugs,
but now they are touting the expenditure of "hundreds of thousands and
maybe millions" in trying to discern what is ostensibly common sense
("Judges Accused of Misapplying Prop. 36 Terms," July 22).

Judges understand that drug users use "paraphernalia" for various
purposes and have ruled accordingly, but public prosecutors are
confounded by Prop. 36, or at least the spirit of the law, which says
that drug offenders should get treatment, not prison, even if, for
some reason, they just happen to possess some paraphernalia. The court
action in Anaheim is just another attempt by obtuse drug-war zealots
to avert judicial discretion and common sense in dealing with drug
offenders, period.

Jim White,
Oregon, Ohio
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek