Pubdate: Fri, 08 Feb 2002
Source: Florida Times-Union (FL)
Copyright: 2002 The Florida Times-Union
Author: Stephen Heath


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 that it is a better approach to dealing with drug
abuse and the associated crimes that often go with it.

Now we see where Bush has trashed the state budget that pays for drug
treatment in our prisons, thus ending programs in all but four of the
state's facilities.

And, less than 48 hours later, his daughter is 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 arrested on drug charges feel the full brunt
of these 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.

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
will 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

Drug Policy Forum of Florida
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