Pubdate: Mon, 19 May 1997
Source: Spokesman-Review, Spokane (WA)
Author: Sarah M. Starkey

Drug War Side Effects Intolerable

The government and police departments are not focused enough on
violent crime.  They are on a rampage against drugs.

The nation's war on drugs is taking valuable police officers off
the street and putting them on special drug units.  With all of
their efforts, the war on drugs is not slowing drug use or supply
in America.  It is, however, allowing violent crime to enter
society in higher levels than ever.

Because of the amount of nonviolent drug offenders taking up so
much prison space, violent criminals are being released back into
society, to commit more violent crimes.

However hard it may be to admit, drugs always have and always
will be a presence in American society.  We Americans have been
paying too high a price for the nation's war on drugs.

Tougher laws and sentences should be directed toward violent
offenders.  Help the criminal justice system get back to its
initial duty of protecting society.

Sarah M. Starkey