Pubdate: Wed, 22 Feb 2006
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The Windsor Star
Author: Robert Woodrich


Re: Tougher Sentences Needed From Courts. The author of the letter 
needs to open her eyes and realize that jail is not the answer when 
it comes to those who abuse their bodies with illegal substances.

First of all, you criticize courts for sentencing drug abusers (and 
not dealers, whom you should be focusing on) to house arrest and 
recommend instead a prison sentence.

You speak for the taxpayers, yet fail to account for the opinion of 
many of your fellow taxpayers who understand that prison is meant for 
serious criminals and not the unfortunate human being who saw no 
other way to cope with his or her problems than by abusing drugs, not 
unlike an alcoholic.

For example, what would happen if courts decided to lock up and throw 
away the key on someone addicted to crack cocaine?

Not only would this individual still have access to crack cocaine 
within the prison system, but they would now have no reason to quit 
as all of their potential to be reintegrated into society would have vanished.

I could go on, telling you how cigarette companies have affected the 
lives of far more Canadians than your local teenage pot dealer (or 
all dealers combined) or how getting the undesirable off the streets 
for good would only lead to an authoritarian state and not the better 
society you speak of, but you should have already known this before 
publicly announcing your opinion.

Allow me to suggest that only continued rehabilitation for those 
already addicted, and better schooling, social services and parenting 
available to those who could potentially become addicted can be 
effective. Violence and punishment with no positive outcome will 
change nothing.


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