Pubdate: Tue, 05 Feb 2002
Source: Independent Florida Alligator, The (FL Edu)
Copyright: 2002 Campus Communications, Inc
Author: Stephen Heath



For the past three years Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida drug czar Jim McDonough 
have deflected complaints about harsh state drug law policies by telling us 
how important drug treatment is and how it is a better approach to dealing 
with drug abuse and crimes that often go with it.

Last Monday, Bush announced the slashing of the state budget that 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 Ms. 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 arrested on drug charges feel the brunt of Bush's 
harsh policies. Lacking resources for proper defense counsel, the average 
citizen will be ground up by the harsh criminal sanctions against any drug 
use, much less abuse. 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 them 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.


Drug Policy Forum of Florida
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