Pubdate: Mon, 20 May 2002
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (CA)
Contact:  2002 Tahoe Daily Tribune
Author: Bill O'Reilly 
Bookmark: (Rockefeller Drug Laws)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Rockefeller drug laws in New
York State. The statutes' most severe provision requires that a judge impose
a prison term of no less than 15 years to life for someone convicted of
selling two ounces or possessing four ounces of a narcotic substance.

Now there is an outcry by some to revoke those laws. The argument goes like
this: "Drug dealing is a non-violent offense, and the perpetrators need drug
treatment since they are often addicts themselves. We are throwing away
valuable lives by imposing draconian penalties on drug-involved offenders."

Are you buying that? Well, if you are, listen up. Selling hard drugs is not
a "non-violent offense." Instead, it is a crime against humanity. A few days
ago, a New Jersey couple in their early 20s sat down in front of an oncoming
Amtrak train and were killed instantly. Authorities say the pair was
addicted to heroin and spent thousands of dollars a month on the drug.
Shortly before the suicide, the couple had been evicted from their apartment
for non-payment of rent. Relatives say both individuals were in despair.

So what about the people who sold the heroin to these Americans? What is
their responsibility? Some will argue the pushers have no responsibility,
that the users make the choice. But that is nonsense. If nobody sold drugs,
there would be no drug problem.

You may have also heard about little Rilya Wilson, the 4-year-old foster
child in Florida who has been missing for 16 months. Rilya's mother is a
crack addict. She had not contacted her child in nearly two years. When
Rilya turned up missing, that despicable mother reportedly made noise about
suing the state of Florida. It turned my stomach.

So what about the people who sold crack to Rilya's mother? Are they not
partially responsible for the abandonment of the little girl?

When are Americans going to wise up? Drug dealing used to be considered the
lowest form of human endeavor. Now it is glorified in some rap songs, and
many misguided Americans have downgraded this terribly destructive crime to

The truth is that selling hard drugs to people who may die from using them,
may become enslaved by addiction, may abuse their children while
intoxicated, and may commit crimes to buy more drugs is a vile enterprise
that should be condemned by society. The Rockefeller laws were passed to
protect Americans from people who would prey upon them. The average pusher
on the street sells to scores of people every day. The damage that person is
doing is enormous. Yet when caught, the pusher is being portrayed as a
victim of an unfair sentencing arrangement.

Here's the truth: In order to get sentenced under the Rockefeller Law, you
have to be one bad seed. You have to have prior convictions or not cooperate
with police in their investigation of the drug pipeline. In other words, you
have to be hard-core. Yes, there are a few people that got caught up in
something they didn't understand, but that is rare. Most of those doing hard
time under Rockefeller are the dregs of the earth. Ask any district
attorney. The overwhelming majority of them want to keep the harsh sentences
in place.

But many in the establishment media find this attitude cruel and unusual. We
have to try and rehab these people, they wail. It's just not fair.

Baloney. Dealing narcotics is a conscious choice. You just don't
accidentally do it. It isn't a crime of passion, a spur-of-the-moment
decision. Drug dealing is a nasty, hateful way to make a buck. It destroys
lives. It corrupts children. It is unmerciful and brutal.

In short, selling hard drugs to another person is a crime against humanity.
Do the crime, do the time.
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