Pubdate: Wed, 14 Aug 2002
Source: Post-Standard, The (NY)
Copyright: 2002, Syracuse Post-Standard
Author: Nicolas Eyle
Note: Title by MAP


To the Editor,

Here it is, August, and still no agreement on drug law reform from Albany. 
Our elected officials are arguing over two  bills that supposedly address 
the problems caused by New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws. The impression 
given in the media is that, if only they could agree on some compromise, 
things would be better. The truth is another story.

The reality is that neither sides proposals would solve any of the problems 
New Yorkers are concerned about. Neither Pataki's bill and the Assembly 
bill would eliminate the system of mandatory sentences and lack of judicial 
discretion for non-violent drug offenders. Neither would seriously reduce 
the sentences for the large numbers of non-violent drug offenders. Neither 
would save the state much money in it's anti-drug efforts. Neither would do 
anything to reduce drug use, and, most importantly for most New Yorkers, 
neither would have any effect on reducing the crime and street violence 
that are caused by our current policy.

The Governor and the Assembly don't need to work harder to reach a 
compromise... they both need to go back to their offices and come up with 
real reform bills.

Nicolas Eyle
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom