Pubdate: [Wed, 18 Dec 1996]
Source: Star Ledger (NJ)
Author: Pat Leonard

Sandy Grady's Dec. 5 column, "Voters wisely ignore the drug warriors," was
one of the most reasonable op-ed pieces I've seen in years. As he phrased
it, "The pols have spent enormous money, rising to $15.1 billion in
Clinton's '97 budget. They've created an anti-drug bureaucracy of 50
agencies. Has it worked? Prisons are jammed; teenage drug use climbs. Maybe
Californians and Arizonans said to heck with the drug war, let's try
something else."

Then, the next day, the headlines read: "Drug dogs free to stick nose in
Montville High." We were treated to numerous quotes from county and school
officials congratulating one another on how they've chipped away at another
of our constitutional freedoms. Reporter Brian Murray notes, correctly,
that "20 years ago, the mere mention of such a search in a suburban New
Jersey school would have ignited some heated debate on teen privacy
rights." But that was before we became accustomed to the government
systematically curtailing and then denying freedoms once guaranteed to all

At a few of the eastbound Delaware River crossings are signs that say
"Welcome to New Jersey - The First State to Ratify the Bill of Rights." At
the rate we're going, we might yet become the first state to completely
dismantle that precious but beleaguered document.

Pat Leonard,