Pubdate: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
Source: Florida Today (FL)
Copyright: 2002 Florida Today
Author: Merl W. Brightbill
Bookmark: (Treatment)


Substance abuse follows no boundaries, but three-fourths of U.S. abusers 
are white, although most profiles in the media are about people of color.

Abusers are diffused through all levels of Florida's education, social, 
economic and age groups. They need medical help instead of prosecution, but 
Noelle Bush's father, Gov. Jeb Bush, believes strict enforcement is the 
right way to win a war on drugs.

The status of adults caught by the enforcement network is public record. 
Noelle is over 21, had three traffic accidents, posed as a doctor to get an 
illegal prescription filled and had seven speeding tickets and five other 
traffic violations.

Isn't strict enforcement giving her what she deserves instead of what she 

Some poor women convicted of misdeeds involving drugs have been judged 
ineligible for welfare assistance for life. Others have been forced out of 
public housing. If no one else cares, traders in illegal drugs might offer 
these women false hope.

The fairness of inflicting punishment on poor victims of abuse is questionable.

Merl W. Brightbill,
Melbourne Beach
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