The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 02, 1989, Page 4, Image 4

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Amy Edwards, Editor, 472-1766
Lee Rood, Editorial Fate Editor
Jane Hirt, Managing Editor
Brandon Loomis, Associate News Editor
Brian Svoboda. Columnist
Bob Nelron, Cotamnist
Jerry Guenther, Senior Reporter
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Cop addresses drug legalization
First step is to teach young dealers evils of ‘easy money’
John is a white Chicago cop.
He doesn’t want his full name
used because what he has to
say might not please his superiors,
although many probably agree with
“I’m a sergeant and I’ve worked
on the West side by choice most of
my career. So I know something
about the problem of drugs. 1 think I
know more about it than some of the
people who do a lot of talking about
winning the drug war and make the
laws and set our national policies, but
have never been on the street where
everything is happening.
“For yean I've been advocating,
mostly to my friends, the legalization
of drugs and using the billions we’d
lave from trying to fight the import
and sates to ctue those who want to be
“The way things go now, the
courts will sentence drug offenders
and people who steal to get drug
money to rehabilitate*! as a condi
tion of probation.
“But what happens when they
wait to go straight and can’t get into
a program for six months, which is
very common? I’ll tell you what
They to right back to their friends
and Mbits. So instead of spending all
those billions pretending you’re
doing something, some of the money
could be used for rehab, some of it for
ad campaigns not to use it, the way
it’s done with cigarettes and liquor.
“We’d still have laws against the
sale to minors. You know, it pains me
to sec how rich drug laws have made
punks and the others are out of busi
“On the West Side, kids used to
complain that we stopped them be
cause they were black and driving a
new Cadillac. That was true. Most
often the car was stolen and we had to
chase them.
"But now that’s changed. Now
the can belong to them and they’ve
paid cash. And some of them aren’t
even old enough to drive.
"Those of us in law enforcement
took like fools trying to fight a battle
we can’t win. And that just breeds
contempt for law and order.
"You know, even if we were able
to stop the coke from Colombia and
Peru, it wouldn’t change things. It
would come in from somewhere else.
And if wc stopped that, it still
wouldn’t change because now they
can make this synthetic stuff right
here. They’re doing it already.
“The problem is the demand. And
the only thing for sure is that where
there is a demand, it will be satisfied.
That’s a basic market principle, and
that’s why all the arguments against
legalizing and controlling drugs are
“Ml tell you what the biggest
change in the last four or five years
has been. It’s the drug dealers them
“Now wc have 13-year-old deal
ers who make more than me. They go
out and sell, then they give some of
the money to Mom, who maybe lives
in the Chicago Housing Authority or
some dump. She needs it to make
. ends meet
“How can President Bush fault
someone who lives in a drafty apart
merit and is wanting for food and has
no chance for a decent education or a
job for selling drugs?
“How are you going to convince
the kids to get back to school so they
can be a factory worker, or get a low
paying job in a fast food place, or be
unemployed; when they can sell
drugs for big money?
“Then they’re going to have kids
and they won’t be able to steer them
awiy from drugs or get them to go to
school because they can’t lead by
example. If you’re going to have
values and morals, they have to come
by example. And that’s why we have
all the casual violence out there, the
disregard for life said death.
“The way we’re going at this
thing reminds me of Vietnam. A
quagmire. Lives lo6t. then we pack up
and leave.
“One of the reasons we study his
tory is to learn from our own mis
takes. Well, it looks like we didn't
learn anything from Prohibition.
“I keep reading that every poll
shows that moat people are against
any kind of legalizing of drugs.
“You know what that tells me? It
tells mr hat most people who get
polled i~n't know what the hell is
going on out here.*’
Thai’s one cop’s opinion. But I
suspect it is also the opinion of thou
sands of other cops in Chicago, New
York, Lax Angeles and in moat cities
where the problems are the same.
Since they're the ones who arc
actually fighting this no-win war, I
respect their opinions more than the
wora-warriors in Washington who
have never been any closer to Chi
cago's West Side, or New York’s
Bronx, or Lor Angeles' Watts titan
their TV sets cao get them.
f. IMS Chkas* Trltea*
Signed staff editorials represent
the official policy of the fall 1988
Duly Nebraskan. Policy is set by the
Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. Its
members are Amy Edwards, editor.
Lee Rood, ediicnai page editor. Jane
Hta. Mim “‘‘•or. Brandoo
LooinH. wociile «ew« cduor, Bob
Nebeii, coiamumi; Jeff Pmntn, col
ironist; Brian Svobode, columnist
« « » f* r» j; y i - *y t y
Editorial columns represent the
opinion of the author.
The Daily Nebraskan’s publishers
are the regents, who established the
UNL Publications Board to supervise
the daily production of the paper.
According to policy set by the re
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Submit maceriaTl10 the Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebemka Union, 1400 R
St, Lincoln, Neb. 63588 0448.