Pubdate: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 Date: 03/10/1999 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Author: Gary R. Davis, M.D. Re "Other issues nettle Davis," Feb. 21: Dan Walters wants the governor and Legislature to spend more tax dollars to "build more prisons or run the risk of being forced to release felons in a few years." The problem is not too few prisons. The problem is our drug laws. Violent felons are being released to make room for nonviolent drug users. Drug criminalization and lengthy prison sentences for drug violations have expanded our prisons, restricted our liberties, promoted corruption in law enforcement, ruined lives, killed innocents and expanded tax dollars for prisons at the expense of education, transportation, health care, safety, child care and all legitimate government services. All this could be corrected if "drugs" were decriminalized and dealt with and controlled legally such as alcohol and tobacco. That would not please the prison guards union, but it would ease a horrific burden on all of us. Gary R. Davis, M.D.