Pubdate: Fri, 02 May 2014
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2014 The Dallas Morning News, Inc.
Author: John Tynes


Re: "Crack down on drug users," by Sue Biesel, Saturday Letters.

Biesel is entitled to her opinion, but it's always nice when opinion 
bears at least a nodding relation to facts. Here are a few with 
regard to our treatment of drug users.

It wasn't all that long ago that we did not send people to prison 
just for using drugs. Now, the United States has some 2.5 million of 
its citizens in prison - more than any other country in the world 
(even the ones we consider bad guys, like China and Iran). One out of 
every 100 adults in the U.S. is in prison. About 80 percent are in 
prison for nonviolent offenses, chiefly drug offenses. Punish them we 
already do, Ms. Biesel, but it does not stop there.

Have a drug conviction on your record, and you are forever ineligible 
for federally insured student college loans. Never mind that 
education is one of the chief factors discouraging recidivism. Any 
felony forever makes it much harder to find a place to live or a 
decent job. The punishment just keeps a-coming.

John Tynes, Rockwall

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