Source: Rocky Mountain News July 5, 1997 Page 57A

Needle exchange not a good use of taxes

Regarding the June 27 article, "Needleexchange program faces police
resistance," how wonderful that the city of Denver may soon use tax dollars
to give illegal drug users clean needles. Despite the myriad of risks
involved with abusing drugs, Mayor Wellington Webb and others want to protect
the abusers from dying of AIDS. Perhaps the drug abusers could also get their
teeth cleaned while they are exchanging their  needles. One wouldn't want
them to face the high risks of gingivitis.

In addition to the needle policy, the city should consider providing "clean"
prostitutes to the public. After all, if citizens are "going to break the law
anyway," isn't it in the city's best interest to provide the "cleanest"
prostitutes available?

Maybe the city could hand out copies of our car keys so that car thieves
wouldn't have to cut their hands breaking the windows of cars they are "going
to steal anyway."

Seriously, this bizarre way of helping people must be reconsidered. Putting
the issue of using tax dollars to support criminal behavior aside, any money
would be better spent on helping those who want to stop using drugs, or never
start, rather than on those who refuse to help themselves.

I am sure the mayor's intentions are good. Politicians need to remember,
though, that what is good for their individual conscience, is not always good
for the people.

David B. Roney