Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 1998
Date: 12/02/1998
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Author: Jim Rosenfield

Regarding the sad death of Sonny Bono and the revelation that he had a
secret problem with addiction (Nov. 20), perhaps he would be alive now
if he could have been more open about the problem.

In contrast to his youthful persona, Bono showed his intelligence and
competence as a congressman, powers he could have brought to bear on
his problem, if he did not have to hide from the hysterical
zero-tolerance regime. In a climate of compassion, he could have
sought help, possibly avoiding his collision with the reality of our
shame-based attitude toward drugs.      No amount of punishment and
prison is going to solve the real problem, and we now have one of the
world's highest incarceration rates, mostly for drug "crimes."

Jim Rosenfield,
Culver City