What do drugs have to do with forgery? PlentyI am...

LETTERS

March 30, 1997

What do drugs have to do with forgery? Plenty

I am responding to your editorial of March 10, "Larry's Used Cars." One paragraph of the editorial dealt with a forged prescription and its relationship to drug trafficking.

As a practicing pharmacist for more than 35 years, I can state unequivocally that prescription drug abuse and trafficking are as big a problem as cocaine.

On a daily basis, pharmacists are confronted with forged or altered prescriptions for narcotic drugs, central nervous depressants and central nervous stimulants.

These drugs end up for sale on our streets to our children and citizens by the forger. Profit-taking by these drug peddlers by pushing these drugs is astronomical.

There can be no separation of these two issues. The street sale of drugs, be they illegal substances or legal substances, must be treated in the same manner.

If you don't believe this is the case, ask any pharmacist that has been confronted by a nervous, shaking, drug-addicted gunman demanding Percocet, morphine, Dilaudid or Demerol.

After doing so, then ask yourself, what does forgery have to do with drug trafficking?

Ted Sophocleus

Linthicum

'Smart growth' doesn't address real problems

How ironic that your editorial, "Smart growth makes economic sense," should appear March 18, the same date that you ran Larry Carson's article, "Code scofflaws test council's patience."

The former supports the governor's plan to withhold state funds from jurisdictions for projects that fail to conform to the state's "smart growth" view of increased concentrated housing to prevent suburban sprawl.

The latter article proposed a new plan to better hold city property owners (mostly landlords who rent to low-income individuals) responsible for the dirt and damage inflicted upon their properties by their tenants.

In reality, both approaches, while well-intentioned, are certain to fail to prevent flight from the city and the older, poorer suburbs. The only thing likely to succeed in "smart growth" and increased use of concentrated housing is to make:

Older, poorer areas safe places to live.

Residents, not landlords, responsible for the trash and destruction they create.

Schools fit for children to attend so that they can be productive adults.

If you fail to do any of these three, nothing will stop suburban sprawl. The city does not need more deserted, uninhabitable shells that used to be affordable rental housing until the owners decided that they were better off to let the property go for unpaid taxes. That's not "smart growth."

Anita Heygster

Pasadena

Governor should halt dynamometer test

Tell Gov. Parris N. Glendening to scrap the dynamometer test, before it causes damage and unnecessary repairs to cars. Then tell the governor to stand up to the federal government.

The "treadmill" testing program has already caused damages and unnecessary repairs. In one incident, the owner of a 1989 Chevrolet had to replace the entire exhaust system, damaged during a treadmill test. Cost: $1,071.

More expensive repairs were required, to replace transmissions on several four-wheel-drive vehicles, tested on "treadmills" designed for two-wheel drive vehicles.

If we have a governor and state officials, so weak they "fear" the federal government, something is drastically wrong.

Robert L. Totten

Severn

Chain restaurants aren't needed here

Our General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would change local liquor laws.

This would allow chain restaurants to have more than one liquor license in Anne Arundel County. While these bills are touted as pro-business, they would benefit only a narrow segment of the economy.

No new jobs are likely to be created if this legislation is approved. Local restaurants are not regularly turning away customers for lack of capacity.

There are economic limits. We can expect nothing but cannibalization. Their employees would be drawn from those displaced from existing, locally owned establishments.

Local supply and service firms would not benefit. The packaged, cookie-cutter establishments that would be allowed in by this change would be expected to continue to obtain supplies and services from their centralized corporate sources rather than local firms.

Perhaps the biggest winners would be local construction and development firms. They could build new malls to house the glittery newcomers.

While they may reap short-term profits, does our county need more such facilities? A quick tour of Route 2 should answer that question.

The original legislative proposal would have benefited only large restaurants. The most recent bill House Bill 1202 appears more friendly to smaller, local firms.

However, Section 2 of the bill is a severability clause. In simple language, the courts could throw out portions of the bill and TC allow the remainder to be effective.

The votes for and against HB 1202 will provide a gauge of where local small business stands in the political food chain for our legislators.

Arthur W. Downs

Severna Park

Health comes first at animal shelter

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