Pubdate: Fri, 4 Oct 2002
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2002 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: James E. Gierach


FLORIDA GOVERNOR Jeb Bush's daughter resides at a drug rehab facility in
Florida. And, as anyone in the drug field can tell you, rehab can be a rocky
road. Such was the case with the governor's daughter when a rock of crack
cocaine apparently turned up in one of her shoes. No charges have been filed
against her, and none are expected, although prosecutors had hoped to
investigate the matter further.

Alas, a judge has ruled in this case that rehab workers do not have to "rat"
on their clients, unless like drug defendants who are routinely threatened
with truth-in sentencing if they do not rat on friends and acquaintances
when caught in the merciless clutches of our drug laws. Why don't these drug
treatment folks have to fess up and tell the truth? Is there some kind of
executive privilege or royal zone of privacy that puts the shoes of the
governor's daughter beyond the reach of the law?

Underpinning the judge's decision was sound logic. The gist of the judge's
ruling might be articulated this way: Rooting around and into the shoes of
the governor's daughter at a rehab facility would have a chilling effect
upon those who seek drug treatment.

Lest the important point be missed, the issue is not whether the governor's
daughter inhaled the aroma emanating from her shoe.  The issue is whether
she was equally exposed to the drug laws politicians make for the other guy.

My heart goes out to the drug-afflicted, including the governor's daughter,
but it's grating when the shoe fits and some people still don't have to wear
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