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Boot Camps for Drug Offenders

May 21, 1989

I am outraged by the anti-drug plan that Bennett has proposed for our nation. Bennett calls his program "consequences and confrontation," which mostly involves the incarceration of alleged drug users and the seizure of their personal property. Bennett gave only general encouragement for drug education and drug treatment, our two most important weapons if we ever hope to win this war on drugs.

Let me state here that from 1972 until 1987 I was addicted to heroin and cocaine. No amount of incarceration ever deterred me from my drug-abusing life style. In fact, most drug addicts just accept this as part of their fate. Even with the threat of stiffer penalties for drugs, the new generation of potential drug addicts will continue to start on their life of crime. In 1968 possession of one marijuana cigarette was a felony, but that didn't stop me nor millions of other Americans from smoking pot. Drug education and treatment are the real answers to this problem. I just hope that when the smoke clears we can still call America the land of the free.

STEPHEN PAYNE

Laguna Beach

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