Pubdate: Wed, 08 Aug 2001
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2001, The Detroit News
Author:  Debra S. Wright


Maureen McDonald should be commended for coming up with some alternative 
programs to keep children off drugs and move their lives in a positive 
direction ("Drug, alcohol abuse can be eradicated," July 25).

Our children are casualties of the War on Drugs, along with people of 
color, the urban poor and many of the more than 2 million people 
incarcerated in our jails and prisons. However, saving some children from 
drugs still leaves the problem: inexpensive drugs readily available to 
anyone who wants them.

We need to begin moving this issue to a public health model. Let's put an 
end to incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders and stop building prisons in 
Michigan. We can use the money we save to invest in our schools and 
after-school programs. Let's get addicts the treatment they need. And let's 
realize that to get drugs out of the hands of drug-dealers, we need some 
type of regulation. This will help keep our kids off drugs, our citizens 
out of prison and end the corruption and violence associated with the 
prohibition of drugs.

Debra S. Wright Ann Arbor
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