Pubdate: Mon, 28 Mar 2016
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Chico Enterprise-Record
Note: Letters from newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Garry Cooper


It is interesting to watch the debate of how to handle the homeless 
people. It is analogous to debating how best to put out a fire while 
totally ignoring how to prevent the fire in the first place.

The way I see it is that, aside from the mentally ill, most of these 
people are disenfranchised and have little hope of becoming employed 
due to our ignorant and abusive drug policies. Many of these people 
were drug users in high school, from broken homes with druggie 
parents, and have little education and sport a felony conviction on 
their record that forever sentences them to no, or poor quality, employment.

Sadly, these people are lost souls. Now we need to focus on saving 
the next generation of our youth from the same needless destiny by 
keeping them involved in life's healthy activities and not branding 
them as "felons" for youthful indiscretions.

We need to understand that spending money on prisons and police 
instead of education and after school programs is at the very root of 
this homeless problem. We must stop listening to the rhetoric and 
specious arguments put forth by the law enforcement industry that 
gleans up to 70 percent of their jobs from current drug policies and 
who have written bylaws to "oppose any and all changes to drug 
policy" to protect their golden egg.

People change. Children grow and mature. Drugs use now reflects a 
societal failure. We failed our youth. Drug felonies should be erased 
after two years.

- - Garry Cooper, Durham
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