Pubdate: Sun 29 Aug 1999
Source: Ogdensburg Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 1999 St Lawrence County Newspapers Corp.
Contact:  P.O. Box 409 Ogdensburg, New York 13669
Author: Jim Murphy


To The Editor:

I am not conerned about Governor Bush's virtual confession of using illegal
drugs sometime before the age of 28 and then asking for uunderstanding,
because I don't want to explore his personal life.  I am concerned because
it shows the double standard in how he and we as a society are dealing with
drugs. The Governor has admitted to committing the same crime as the
thousands of mostly poor and minority young people under the age of 28 now
housed in prisons across America. In New York, for example, over 92 percent
of those imprisoned for drug sale or possession are black or Hispanic. They
have been imprisoned because of the so called "tough on crime, no tolerance
for drugs" legislation that Conservatives like the Governor have supported
and advocated. Perhaps the Governor can argue that he did not sell any drugs
in those days of youthful indiscretion, but he did not have to. He had the
cash. It might be asked if he shared drugs with other indiscreet wealthy
young people in those days, but no matter.  His call for understanding in
this case would make more sense if he was willing to show similar
compassionate conservatitism to those we lock away into our prisons.

Jim Murphy

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