Pubdate: Thu, 29 Aug 2002
Source: Indianapolis Star (IN)
Copyright: 2002 Indianapolis Newspapers Inc.
Author: Neal Smith


I applaud The Star's call for a frank discussion of public safety issues 
facing this community (Aug. 11 editorial). However, it needs to go beyond 
the "politics as usual" attitude displayed by Republicans and Democrats. 
There should be input from other political parties, organizations that deal 
with social problems and informed and concerned citizens.

The current powers that be have caused this mess. They've made a lot of 
money from some poor decisions they've made, and I'm not convinced they 
will do what is necessary to solve the massive problems our community 
faces. There are a number of additional political parties and organizations 
that have fresh ideas about solving these problems.

Among them are the Marion County Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the 
Indiana Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

I include Indiana NORML because the majority of those overcrowding the jail 
have violated nothing more than laws against possessing marijuana. Those 
laws need to be drastically altered. Society will greatly benefit, 
particularly in preventing the release of violent criminals, if marijuana 
users were neither jailed nor otherwise harmed.

This community certainly needs better ideas than what we have seen 
developed by those currently in power.

Neal Smith

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