Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jun 2007
Source: Ledger, The (Lakeland, FL)
Copyright: 2007 The Ledger
Author: Robert Sharpe


How should Polk County respond to illicit methamphetamine use ["Polk 
Still Seen as Meth 'Hot Spot,'" Sunday]? During the crack epidemic of 
the 1980s, New York City chose the zero-tolerance approach, opting to 
arrest and incarcerate as many offenders as possible. Meanwhile, 
Washington Mayor Marion Barry was smoking crack and America's capital 
had the highest per capita murder rate in the country. Yet crack use 
declined in both cities simultaneously.

Simply put, the younger generation saw first hand what crack was 
doing to their older brothers and sisters, and decided for themselves 
that crack was bad news.

This is not to say nothing can be done about meth. Access to drug 
treatment is critical for the current generation of meth users. 
Diverting resources away from prisons and into cost-effective 
treatment would save both tax dollars and lives.

The following U.S. Department of Justice research brief confirms my 
claims regarding the spontaneous decline of crack cocaine:

ROBERT SHARPE,  MPA Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy,  Washington
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