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Transcribed TV report about WOsD's from FOX in L.A.
From: dash #0 @netcom.com (David Ashley) Internet
Re: Report on WOD on Fox in Los Angeles
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Ashley)
Subject: Report on WOD on Fox in Los Angeles
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 1994 07:36:26 GMT
Today on the 10:00 PM News on Fox, here in the Los Angeles, California,
USA area, the following report was made about drugs. I don't know
the names of the newscasters...
Lead in: NEWSCASTER:
And Docter Elder's fight against teenage smoking points up what those who
want to rethink Americas drug laws are saying: Tobacco kills 400000 people
a year in this country. Alcohol kills another 170000. By comparison, illegal
drugs kill fewer than 5000. Drug reformers say our energy and money are
being wasted in the drug war. They say a change in policy would mean less
crime, especially in the nation's inner cities.
Switch to previously taped report:
America's inner cities are being held hostage. Residents hear gunshots all
night. All too often the bullets find a target. Sometimes the intended
target, sometimes not. And the police who patrol the most dangerous
city streets are sometimes afraid to go there, and they're not welcomed by
many inner city residents. Drug reform advocates say these problems go hand
in hand, both caused they say by a drug war that has failed.
[Albert Gross is the co-author of the book "America's Longest War: Rethinking
Our Tragic Crusade Against Drugs"]
Albert Gross: "There is a curious thing going on here. 60 to 70 percent of
drug users are whites. 70 to 80 percent of the people in jail for drug
crimes are minorites. What's going on? There's something here that doesn't
And it doesn't compute with more and more police, judges and civil
libertarians. The question is not just who gets sent to prison, but why.
Rev. Leanard Jackson, First Ame Church, "Any time you find an individual
receiving more time for posession of crack cocaine than you do for
powdered cocain, then you know that you have a problem, especially when
you realize that crack cocaine happens to be the desired drug of the
minority community, whereas you know that you need powdered cocaine to make
Add to that the fact that many drug users are doing more prison time than some
repeat violent criminals. Drug reform advocates say users need help, not
Rep. Don Edwards (D) San Jose, "There is much too much emphasis on locking
them up on the enforcement. We have, in our federal prisons alone today,
20,000 people, who are non-violent, and this is a report of the attorney
general just put out last week, who are non-violent, didn't use a gun,
have a very tiny criminal history so they're not habitual criminals, and
who could be rehabilitated, at least a big proportion of them, if given
the chance, with a short sentence, and then rehabilitation, probation,
careful supervision, at least 20,000, they're costing 25,000 dollars
Orange county judge James Gray is among the reformers who worry about
the role models for too many inner city kids.
Judge James Gray:"Are they the people that work real hard during the day
and go to school at night in order to better him or herself? Regretfully
not, they're the people that are selling drugs, that can reach into
their pocket and give their mother enough cash to pay for her rent for the
Kevin Zeese, Drug Policy Foundation, "I was representing a young African
American boy who, about 16 years old, who was involved in crack dealing
at a low level, and after he got arrested he was facing 5 to 10 years in
jail. And I said to him, 'Was it worth it?' he said 'Yeah, it was worth
it. I mean, I've got the gold chain, I've got the car, I had the pretty
girlfriend, it was worth it to taste success for a short time. There was
no other way I could reach that level of success.'"
Reformers say legalization would eliminate drug profits making drug dealers
obsolete, the way legalizing alcohol eliminated bootleggers. And they say
it would help alleviate the inner city's most violent crime problem:
street gangs, who are largely empowered by drug profits.
Joseph McNamara,retired San Jose police chief "By the time they're 14 or
15, they're gangsters. They're well armed, they see the easy money and
that wasn't what we intended to do."
Reformers say the drug war has turned into a war between inner city youth
and police, and they say when that happens, both sides lose.
Joseph McNamara:"There's no way you can put cops into a war, and get good
police aid. What you're going to get is a lot of violence, a lot of bad
respect for law among young people, and I think the volence that we're seeing
is definitely attributable to the drug war itself."
Albert Gross:"One thing that would happen if you legalize drugs is that the
police resources that are being squandered, in my opinion, and they are
being squandered because they don't result in what they're designed to
do, which is to limit the supply of drugs. Drugs are plentiful. So, you know
anything that is spent on that is a waste of money because it doesn't work."
END OF TAPE:
And reformers say those resources could be better be used at drug education
and rehabilitation, projects that coupled with a reduction in crime,
could help the inner cities become the thriving urban centers that
they once were. Tomorrow night we'll take a look at how some people overseas
and in this country are attacking the drug problem in a different way,
and how they are succeeding at it.
I know the Netherlands are...some really unique ideas. Whereabouts in this
Especially Amsterdam and Europe, but in this country New Haven, Connecticut,
used to have one of the highest murder rates in the country, and now they
have reduced their AIDS infection rate and their murder rate by taking a
different approach, kind of a medicalization approach.
We'll hear more on this tommorow?
A lot more.
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