Letters to the Editor

Spend more on meth treatment

How should Washington state respond to illicit methamphetamine use (“We’re making progress, but meth still a scourge,” Dec. 13)?

During the crack epidemic of the 1980s, New York City chose the zero tolerance approach, opting to arrest and incarcerate as many offenders as possible.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was smoking crack and America’s capital had the highest per capita murder rate in the country.

Yet crack use declined in both cities simultaneously.

Simply put, the younger generation saw firsthand what crack was doing to their older brothers and sisters and decided for themselves that crack was bad news.

This is not to say nothing can be done about meth. Access to drug treatment is critical for the current generation of meth users.

Diverting resources away from prisons and into cost-effective treatment would save both tax dollars and lives.

ROBERT SHARPE

Common Sense

for Drug Policy

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