Pubdate: Sat, 03 Apr 2004
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2004 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: Stephen Young


As I read about the first-grader in Chicago Heights who brought crack
cocaine to school [news story, March 21], I was reminded of the harsh
anti-drug legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress in the mid-1980s.
Congress was spurred by a sports-related scandal after college
basketball star Len Bias died in the wake of cocaine use. The
politicians wanted to protect young people like Bias by locking up
many other young people. The incident in Chicago Heights demonstrates
the success of that effort, while federal prisons bulge with drug offenders.

While refusing to address their past failures regarding drug policy,
federal lawmakers have instead inserted themselves into another
alleged substance abuse crisis: performance-enhancing drugs in
baseball. If Congress stays involved, and history is any indicator,
steroid use will become widespread in Little Leagues within a decade.

Stephen Young
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