A Letter to the Editor, July 30, 2021

Published in The Democratic Gazette, July 30, 2021.

When I first heard about the Fayetteville McDonald's standoff, I assumed that the FPD were intervening in a crisis of unknown origins, likely rooted in mental health issues. But as I read the Sunday NWADG, I learned that, in fact "members of the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force attempted at about 3pm Friday to purchase methamphetamine from Houston", which lead to a suicide threat.

Wait, what? This potential tragedy was rooted in a small-time drug sting? Hundreds of diners, shoppers, and motorists (including my own kids) were needlessly put in harm's way to put away a former officer who has developed a criminal and drug history?

In all fairness, it appears that, when summoned, the Crisis Negotiation and Emergency Response teams did what needed to be done in order to protect the community at large. I have not yet read that Houston has died as a result of his injuries and hope that remains the case.

But when is this 50-year War on Drugs going to end? How many billions (trillions?) of dollars have been spent and lives lost and families ruined due to this unwinnable "war". Prohibition does not work. We learned that 100 years ago. When will we start investing more in crisis stabilization units and mental health and drug courts rather than jails and prisons? When will we invest more in building strong children than repairing broken men? When will we stop using taxpayer dollars to "entrap" people who clearly have problems that incarceration won't solve? There are more drugs and addiction now than ever and that will continue to be the case until we implement other solutions. Now is the time.


Let's Change the World Together!

Link to original article: NWA Letters to the Editor (nwaonline.com)

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