Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jan 2002
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Stephen Heath


To the editor:

Kentucky and other states can pass new criminal drug laws on a weekly,
monthly or annual basis if so inclined. They can jail dozens, hundreds
and thousands more citizens for violation of these same laws, and when
all the smoke clears, we may have packed jails but not a single drug
addict is any closer to true recovery.

And now we see proposed legislation that ropes pharmacists into roles
as surrogate police agents.  Rep. Robin Webb made it clear where she
intends to go with this and future proposals.

"We're asking pharmacists to take a burden now, but this is just the
first step," Webb said.

Hardly. This is actually just another in a long line of steps that
have been taken by lawmakers nationwide to persecute citizens who have
addiction and abuse problems other than alcohol and tobacco.

A true drug abuser does not need to receive a criminal record in order
to receive appropriate and adequate assistance. It's time to just say
no to proposals like Webb's and reconsider our many failed drug policies.

Stephen Heath, Drug Policy Forum of Florida, Clearwater, Fla.
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