Pubdate: Sun, 01 Mar 1998
Date: March 1, 1998
Source: The Des Moines Register Iowa
Author:  Carl E. Olsen

I found the article about Iowa House Speaker Ron Corbett's mother ("A
Painful Lesson on Peril of Drugs," Feb. 20) very illuminating considering a
bill pending in the House Judiciary Committee (H.F. 2060) to increase the
penalty for simple possession of crack cocaine and other illegal drugs to a
Class D felony.

For Representative Corbett's mother to develop the severity
of addiction that she did (having to declare bankruptcy as a result), she
must have possessed crack cocaine hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
And yet Representative Corbett said, "We need to help those that are
addicted to seek treatment." What does Corbett mean?

This situation clearly
shows the hypocrisy and absurdity of our current drug laws.  There are
people serving long prison sentences for possessing less crack cocaine than
Rob Corbett's mother had.

She admits to being a habitual lawbreaker , and
yet no one is suggesting (and rightly so) that she go to jail. Nothing
could better illustrate the victimless nature of drug possession and abuse
than this case.  The victim is the drug abuser. We should be figuring out
alternatives to putting drug abusers in prison. These people need a doctor,
not a policeman.

Carl E. Olsen
Des Moines, Iowa