Pubdate: Wed, 23 Jul 2003
Source: Coquitlam Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003Lower Mainland Publishing Group, Inc.
Author: Larry Seguin


I appreciate The NOW publishing "Media needs to change the way it reports
drug busts" (In My View, July 14).

Alan Randell makes an excellent point in urging the media to report more on
the personal lives of those involved. The media quickly points out an arrest
if it involves drugs and prostitution, or a previous arrest for stealing or
assault. That unfairly labels a citizen who, outside of using a little
prohibited substance, is an honourable, law-abiding citizen - a homeowner,
excellent spouse, great dad, good neighbour, etc. It is those citizens who
have their lives ruined, not from the drug but from prohibition laws.

Law enforcement conditions citizens to except roadblocks and roadside
searches of themselves as a way to make communities safe. Citizens begin to
accept each bust as "putting a dent in drug use." Taking funds from
education for incarceration becomes the norm. Every citizen feels he or she
needs to be an extra set of eyes for the police, report every suspicious
movement of a neighbour (loud music, barking dog, etc.) Feeling their extra
eyes are not enough, they vote a bigger budget for more officers and more

The drug war becomes a national pastime like baseball and hockey, only in
the drug war there are no winners.

Larry Seguin

Lisbon, N.Y.
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