Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jun 2016
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2016 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Neill Franklin


Padlocking stores and punishing small business owners who are fearful 
of drug dealer retaliation is not the solution to reducing crime 
("Police close BP gas station," June 22). This is about drug 
prohibition, and here is another reason added to the long list of 
reasons for ending drug prohibition laws which are counter productive 
to public safety.

In the same manner that Al Capone and his gun toting cronies 
intimidated businesses and communities as they managed their illegal 
alcohol businesses, today's drug dealers literally commandeer gas 
stations and convenience stores while peddling drugs within poor city 

Let's advocate for a true health-centered approach in managing drug 
abuse with on demand treatment, supervised injection centers with 
medication-assisted treatment and regulation of certain drugs for 
adult use. This approach would dramatically reduce illegal drug 
dealer profits, removing power and influence from gangs and crews, 
and reduce violent crime. Closing a business does not solve the 
problem, it simply moves it to another store.

Neill Franklin, White Hall

The writer is executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
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