Drug clinicsPolice Commissioner Thomas Frazier seems to...

the Forum

November 29, 1994

Drug clinics

Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier seems to think that by making drug sweeps in infested neighborhoods, such as the one made in Walbrook recently, residents will believe "the message that it is not hopeless."

Unfortunately, under the present drug policy the situation will continue to become more hopeless and more dangerous. More of our young people will be lost to random violence which accompanies drug dealing.

We must face the harsh reality that as long as illegal drugs generate huge sums of money, no amount of incarcerations will make the problem any better. The good news is that there is another way.

We must take the profits out of drugs. This can be done by treating the drug crisis as a public health issue.

What I mean is that drug clinics can be set up where addicts can go to get their drugs at nominal cost and be able to administer them in a safe, clean environment.

Drugs would still be illegal to sell on the street, and that problem would be eliminated because there would no longer be huge amounts of money to be made.

Mayor Kurt Schmoke was a strong proponent of a similar idea a number of years ago but then backed off because of political pressure. Now is the time to revive the whole debate before we see thousands more victims of the so-called war on drugs.

Robert Jenusaitis

Baltimore

Police state

The recent tactics of the Republican Party in challenging the voting results for Maryland's governor were blatantly racist and elitist.

Even before election day there were attempts to intimidate Baltimore City voters under the guise of safeguarding the polls.

The prospect of challenging voters as they prepared to cast their votes in a democratic society smacked of police-state tactics.

After the election, votes were challenged only in the Glendening strongholds of Montgomery County and, again, Baltimore City.

It seems only certain people are deemed fit to vote in the Republican view.

In Ellen Sauerbrey's haste to become governor, she and fellow Republicans forgot the fundamentals of our society: that you don't have to be rich, famous, powerful, male or white in order to vote. You only have to meet standard qualifications and then register before making your choices in the voting booth.

Fortunately there were just enough informed citizens who came out to vote for Parris Glendening, thereby thwarting a disaster that would have had ramifications for all Marylanders.

Frank J. McGloin

Baltimore

Jeffersonian

Rep. Newt Gingrich, on the matter of a school prayer amendment, self-righteously quoted Thomas Jefferson from the Declaration of Independence -- "they are endowed by their Creator."

But Jefferson, some years later in a letter to Peter Carr, his virtual adopted son, also said this: "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must approve of the homage of reason than of blindfold fear."

During his presidential campaign of 1800, Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration, these famous words, insisting, curiously enough, on the separation of church and state. "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Was this last statement meant for an amendment that would permit what its supporters call voluntary prayer in a public school when a student there now may do this constitutionally?

R. D. Reese

Baltimore

First-time voter

As a young, urban Afro-American male who overcame second thoughts and decided to vote for the first time, I have these thoughts about the recent election:

Congratulations to Parris Glendening for his victory, despite the long delay due to the absentee-ballot count and the grumblings of a sore loser.

Let his victory be the road to ensuring a future of harmony in Maryland.

Congratulations to Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke for throwing his political weight behind the greater good in a shifting, topsy-turvy political climate where floundering economics, extremists, and all manner of racial, ethnic, and regional tensions run amok.

Finally, I give major credit to an unlikely source for waking me up and encouraging me to raise my voice:

To Ross Pierpont, thanks for nothing!

Shawn Tavon Soms

Princess Anne

Get over it

What is wrong with Ellen Sauerbrey?

The election is over and she lost. Now if she could just get on with her life and stop catering to her own self-serving interests, maybe she could do something to help make this world a better place.

The time, energy and financial resources she is spending should be put to some better use. Get on with your life, Ellen Sauerbrey, and stop wasting our time.

Nancy Carrey-Beaver

Baltimore

Agricultural runoff woes not ignored

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) would like to respond to a recent letter to The Evening Sun regarding the contamination of public drinking water from agricultural runoff (Oct. 25) .

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