Pubdate: Sat, 13 Jul 2002
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 2002, New Haven Register
Author: Jerome F. Greenwald and Maria Warner


Forum columnist Bill O'Reilly is a self-appointed expert on the drug war 
and drug addiction. However, if O'Reilly did his homework, he would 
discover that alcohol addiction and nicotine addiction kill more people per 
year than all the other drugs combined.

All the Rockefeller laws have done is fill our jails with addicts, most of 
whom are minorities, at the lowest end of elicit drug distribution. To 
waste all that money, $34,000 per year for each addict, for the past 30 
with nothing to show for it makes us question this policy.

For less than half that amount, we can send addicts to a two-year treatment 
plan and can heal most addicts. Addiction is a disease of the brain and it 
has been proven that with tough love, strict rules, and a lot of talk 
therapy, the results are successful.

One wonders if O'Reilly knows there is an epidemic of beer parties in 
junior high, high school and college. Teen-agers are getting killed and the 
advertising of beer shows it is a cool thing to do.

Did O'Reilly ever mention that a good many of our banks, brokerage houses 
and financial institutions are in the business of laundering drug money? 
How patriotic are the CEOs and the rich who want to do their banking in the 
Caribbean so they do not have to pay taxes?

Jerome F. Greenwald

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Drug Dealers Must Pay Dearly

I would like to respond to Bill O'Reilly's Forum article "Drug dealers
should be punished."

I think that every state should adopt the Rockefeller drug laws. Drug
addiction is on the rise. The only way to crack down is to have
stiffer penalties for the dealers.

Most drug dealers aren't addicts. They are doing it for the money. Why
work 40 hours a week when they make the big bucks selling drugs?

When they are arrested, they will plead they sell to support their
habit and check themselves into a rehab facility to make it look good
in order to get a lighter sentence or probation. They don't need
rehab, they need to be taken off the streets.

Drug dealing is the equivalent to murder.

Selling drugs destroys many lives. The dealers feel they have no 
responsibility; that the users make that choice. What does a 13- or 
14-year-old know. Before they know it, they're addicted and will do 
anything to get it.

When you choose to sell drugs, then you should pay the consequences. You 
are destroying all humanity when you make the choice. And what about the 
drug dealer's families - living "the good life" at the expense and demise 
of others, pretending they don't know where the money comes from. This is 
blood money.

Those who think the laws are cruel and unusual punishment should walk in 
the shoes of families dealing with addiction. Only when the laws change and 
dealers are taken off the streets can we see change.

I know firsthand what addiction can do. I lost my son because of drug 
addiction. The worst thing was finding out the drug dealer attended my 
son's wake.

Maria Warner

East Haven
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