Pubdate: Tue, 18 Nov 2008
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 2008 Newsday Inc.
Author: Tony Newman
Note: The author is the Director of Media Relations for the Drug
Policy Alliance


I was shocked to read that Gov. David Paterson is cutting more than 
$8 million from New
York's substance abuse programs in response to the state's current
budget crisis ["Drug treatment advocates fault cut in NY programs,"
Newsday .com, Nov. 7].

This is completely shortsighted. Treatment is less expensive and more
effective than the lock-'em-up strategy.

There is a win-win solution for Paterson and our elected officials
when it comes to New York's budget crisis: Replace the racist and
inhumane Rockefeller drug laws with a public health approach, saving
hundreds of millions of dollars.

Paterson has long given lip service about the need to reform the
costly Rockefeller drug laws. Now that the Democrats will be taking
over the Senate and remain in control of the Assembly, there are no
more excuses about why we can't move from away from costly and
ineffective mass incarceration to a health-based approach to solving
our state's drug problems.



Newsday Editor's Note:
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