Pubdate: Fri, 23 Aug 2002
Source: Contra Costa Times (CA)
Copyright: 2002 Knight Ridder
Author: Gerta Farber


Judith Offer (Aug. 9) has written an excellent and thoughtful letter, 
saying she is mystified about the point of your editorial about crime in 
our community. She wants to know how you propose that the public have any 
effect on "this drug-dealing and ignorant" culture. May I suggest one 
possible radical change that we could all ask our legislators to consider?

A large percentage of these crimes are related to our draconian drug laws. 
Billions of our tax dollars have been spent, and continue to be spent, on 
these drug-related crimes, and on the resulting law enforcement, which 
includes new jails.

These wasted dollars could go a very long way to providing the mental, 
physical and educational services our communities sorely need. Legalization 
is not a perfect answer, but it would certainly be a workable improvement.

How about a college education for all who want it? That might get a few 
people off the streets and even create some intelligent future leaders.

Gerta Farber

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