Pubdate: Thu, 15 Aug 2002
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2002 The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper.
Author: Daniel Poling


What will it take for our elected officials to realize that our approach to 
drug addiction obviously isn't working?

I just read about a Gardenville man who carjacked the Stroup family and its 
three young children, holding a knife to the throat of a 10- year-old 
during a botched robbery ("Gardenville man pleads guilty to armed 
carjacking and kidnapping of family," Aug. 7).

The reason this family went through such an ordeal is because the attacker 
was a heroin addict trying to get money to feed his addiction.

Unfortunately, in the United States we treat the serious health problem of 
heroin addiction as a criminal problem. In essence, our laws make criminals 
out of addicts. If there was a legal way to obtain heroin, families such as 
the Stroups wouldn't have to experience such violence.

Laws and policies must change. As long as heroin is illegal, addicts will 
be criminals, and 10-year-olds will have knives held to their throats.

Daniel Poling,

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