Pubdate: Wed, 06 Jul 2005
Source: Shelby County Reporter ( AL)
Copyright: 2005 Shelby County Reporter
Author: Stephen Heath


Dear Editor,

It's great to hear of the success to date for your drug court system.
However, problems with adequate funding are assured, given the
experience we've had here in Florida, where the drug court system was
first introduced.

The system's fatal flaw is the failure to make any distinction between
the use and the abuse of any drug, most notably marijuana. Thus, the
well-intentioned drug court model is now jammed with thousands of
marijuana 'clients' whose need for drug treatment is no more so than
an alcohol user who drinks a six pack on the weekend or enjoys wine
with his meals.

Treating the vast majority of marijuana use and in many cases,
occasional use of other illegal substances, as something in need of a
state-funded 'cure' is a disaster in the making.

Taxpayers are forced to watch millions of dollars go into 'curing'
someone who smokes small amounts of pot at home. Then, as the number
of 'clients' rises, drug warriors use that data to perpetuate the myth
of marijuana 'addiction'. It's a neverending rodent-wheel of bullspeak
and we the taxpayers are getting the shaft.

Most important, far too many real drug abusers are left waiting for
needed help behind otherwise law-abiding citizens whose only crime was
possessing small amounts of drugs and being caught by

Stephen Heath

Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Clearwater, Fla.
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