Pubdate: Tue, 26 Feb 2002
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Newsday Inc.
Author: Jose Melendez


Bernie Diaz, in his letter ["Drug Illogic," Letters, Feb. 13], mentions the 
"unfortunate circumstances surrounding Noelle Bush's arrest on a forged 
prescription." Bush is a perfect example of how laws against substance 
abuse don't really apply to those in the class making such arbitrary and 
capricious rules: The daughter of the Florida governor is being allowed to 
participate in mandatory drug treatment, despite her criminal record, which 
is long enough that she does not technically qualify for the program. Also, 
Diaz neglected to mention that treatment programs such as the one offered 
to Bush are being cut across the board in Florida, in favor of much more 
expensive and less effective incarceration.

Xanax, the drug Bush was trying to obtain, is classified by the Drug 
Enforcement Agency as a schedule-four substance, listed as having only 
slight potential for abuse; marijuana is listed as schedule one, having 
high potential. Nicotine and alcohol are exempt from drug scheduling, 
despite the fact that they take 500,000 American lives annually. It is 
amazing that those who claim to be part of the "drug-free" movement turn a 
blind eye to the relative harm caused by legal drugs, which are advertised 
side by side with ads that disingenuously pretend illicit drugs are worse.

Jose Melendez,

DeLand, Fla.
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