Pubdate: Sat, 02 Feb 2002
Source: News Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2002 The News Herald
Author: Stephen Heath


For the past three years Gov. Jeb Bush and his Drug Czar Jim 
McDonough have deflected complaints about harsh state drug-law 
policies by telling us how important they believe drug treatment is 
and how it's a better approach to dealing with drug abuse and the 
associated crimes that often go with it.

Then on Jan. 28, Bush announced the slashing of the state budget 
which pays for drug treatment in our prisons, thus ending programs in 
all but four of the state's facilities. Less than 48 hours later, his 
daughter was arrested on felony drug charges. While we all hope that 
Noelle Bush gets any and all appropriate help she needs, it brings 
clearly to the forefront the hypocrisy of "get tough on drugs" laws.

Virtually all Floridians who are arrested on drug charges feel the 
full brunt of Bush's harsh policies. Lacking resources for proper 
defense counsel, the average citizen in this state will be ground up 
by the harsh criminal sanctions against any drug use. And when they 
are spit out of the system months (or years) later, if they have not 
had the root problems of their abuse addressed, who cares? We'll just 
run 'em through the mill again.

Bush endorses draconian drug policies because he knows that his 
family and friends will never have to experience the full and 
complete life-shattering consequences of these policies. If he says 
otherwise now, you don't have to "read his lips." Just check his 
proposed state budget.

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