Pubdate: Wed, 02 Feb 2005
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Copyright: 2005 Sun-Sentinel Company
Author: Jack A. Cole


Many thanks for Shahien Nasiripour's thoughtful article, "Students
could face up to 15 years in jail" (Saturday), alerting readers that
teens caught selling small amounts of drugs in their high schools will
be prosecuted as adults.

This policy will accomplish nothing other than ruining the lives of 16
of our children and destroying their families. Treating children as
adults will not lower the incidence of death, disease, crime or addiction.

For 35 years, we have fought the war on drugs with these policies, and
all that has changed is drugs are cheaper, more potent and far easier
to get than they were in the 1970s, when nearly a thousand young
people went to jail as a direct result of my work as an undercover
narcotics agent.

I can't say how many of those children would have gone on to become
valuable citizens had I not intervened, but I'm sure the number would
be huge.

Think of all the folks you know who used an illegal drug as a
youngster, then put the drugs behind them and went on to live
productive lives. Many are now members of our government.

You can get over an addiction, but you will never get over a

Jack A. Cole, New Jersey State Police Lieutenant (retired)

Medford, Mass.
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