Pubdate: Tue, 30 Nov 1999
Date: 11/30/1999
Source: Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
Author: Christopher A. Joseph
Note: Differing from the printed version, the headline of the newspaper's
online version for this letters section was "Laws Grams supports more
harmful than drugs"

Sen. Rod Grams tells a truly sad story.

Even more sadly, he seems to be missing the whole point of the media
and public scrutiny.

Had any other parent called the police about a missing child, and had
that child been discovered under the same circumstances, under current
law the child would have been set in the back seat of the police car
and brought straight to a holding cell. His son was given a ride home
in the front seat, no charges, no questions asked.

While I do not believe those drug laws should even be in place, they
are, and should be enforced equally and blindly.

The senator may have been acting in the capacity of a caring, loving
and understandably worried father, but there is no escaping the fact
that the police knew who he was. They gave his son treatment that no
normal 21-year-old adult would have received, especially someone with
a prior arrest and conviction record.

I find it even more ironic that the senator is still proclaiming
himself a ``tough on drugs'' legislator after he has seen what the
current system does to exacerbate the problem.

Apparently, he has missed that point as well. Millions of
freedom-loving alcoholics stand as an example of his narrow-minded

Incarceration is not a deterrent, and in some cases, neither is

There is no easy solution, but why do we continue to make the problems
of addiction worse by processing it through the legal system?

Christopher A. Joseph
Parma, Ohio