Pubdate: Mon, 11 Feb 2002
Source: Ledger, The (FL)
Copyright: 2002 The Ledger
Author: Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Treatment)


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

Gov. Bush has now 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.

Fewer than 48 hours after the governor's announcement, 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 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, 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 '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.


Drug Policy Forum of Florida

- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager