Pubdate: Sat, 22 Jul 2000
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2000 The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper.
Contact:  501 N. Calvert Street P.0. Box 1377 Baltimore, MD 21278
Fax: (410) 315-8912
Author: Marilyn Carlisle


The Crime and Drug Solution Work Group of the Neighborhood Congress
has reminded the mayor of Baltimore of the urgency of funding the 220
drug-treatment slots that now have guaranteed funds only through August.

We know that the various drug treatment programs are very committed to
their clients. But they have had to stop accepting new clients after
receiving a letter from the city health department that indicated
possible termination of the Mayor's Initiative on Treatment. That
program funded slots serving 400 addicted persons in outpatient
treatment ("Funding for drug centers falls short," June 3).

Knowing how important other programs and services are for Baltimore,
especially those that might prevent our children's choosing a life
with drugs in the future, we do not want this funding to come at the
expense of public safety or to create a reduction in services in
education, recreation, etc.

Citizens should be aware that Sen. Paul Wellstone introduced an
amendment to the bill authorizing $60 billion for the Colombian
government's war on drugs. The amendment would take $225 million and
use it in this country for drug rehabilitation.

I was very disappointed in Maryland Sen. Paul Sarbanes' vote against
the amendment. I thank Sen. Barbara Mikulski for voting in favor of
the amendment.

Wouldn't we need to reduce the demand for drugs before trying to cut
off the supply, which we have not done successfully in all these
40-plus years of trying?

Marilyn Carlisle,
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