Pubdate: Sun, 18 Aug 2002
Source: Beaver County Times, The (PA)
Copyright: 2002 Beaver County Times/Allegheny Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


Tuesday's editorial was right on target. A study conducted by the Rand 
Corp. found that every additional dollar invested in substance abuse 
treatment saves taxpayers $7.46 in societal costs.

There is far more at stake than tax dollars. The drug war is not the 
promoter of family values that some would have us believe.

Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, 
addiction and delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but society 
as a whole does, too.

Incarcerating non-violent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is 
the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in 
anti-social behavior. Turning drug users into unemployable ex-cons is a 
senseless waste of tax dollars.

It's time to declare peace in the failed drug war and begin treating all 
substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public health problem it is.

Destroying the futures and families of citizens who make unhealthy choices 
doesn't benefit anyone.

Robert Sharpe
Washington, D.C.
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