Pubdate: Wed, 19 Dec 2001
Source: High Point Enterprise (NC)
Copyright: 2001 High Point (N.C.) Enterprise
Author: Mike Plylar and Charles F. Lambeth Jr


The high sheriff of Davidson County, Gerald Hege, has the responsibility of 
supervising his narcotics unit and his deputies.

Three of his top deputies were arrested for conspiracy in drug charges. 
Single officers sometimes go bad, but three is unusual unless it is in a 
large city.

Hege says that "there's really no monitoring system." If there isn't, there 
should have been. An effective internal system to prevent such actions is 

Sheriff Hege has built himself a reputation as the toughest sheriff in 
America. Some of the ways he has done this include television and radio 
shows, decorating his office with military items, outfitting his deputies 
with uniforms resembling military special forces, driving a spider car, and 
the list goes on. His busy schedule may have prevented his attention to a 
narcotics unit out of control.

Hege should acknowledge that his narcotics unit was lax and promptly 
establish a monitoring system that will prevent activities of this kind in 
the future.

Charles F. Lambeth Jr.


The Sheriff Hege dilemma is a clear example of the harm caused by this 
pork-barrel pariah called the war on drugs and how it has completely 
misdirected our law-enforcement resources and endangers everyone.

Before Americans consider a new direction for U.S. drug policy, we should 
take a long, hard look at where we've been. Not another dollar spent, cop 
corrupted, prison built, innocent shot, war waged, right repealed, DARE 
program taught or drug raider deployed until someone, somewhere, somehow, 
outside the halls of the government-created anti- drug industry, takes a 
long, hard, unbiased look at what just may be nothing more than a 
hysterical witch hunt run amok.

Do the ends justify the means? Have we actually accomplished one tangible 
thing of note, besides enriching those who espouse and implement these 
draconian measures?

Now that DARE has been exposed as having produced exactly the opposite 
results we desired, one must question the "achievements" of the other 
anti-drug acronyms. What exactly does our dollar buy? Are their products 
guaranteed? Do they actually encourage, rather than prevent, drug use? 
Surely our government officials have already begun to take a look at this. 
I doubt it. American drug policy reeks of pork, and we all know how the 
politicos love their lard.

It's never too late to reconsider.


Kremmling, Colo.
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