There is a frenzy among elected officials, seeking to discourage drug use and addiction, including street heroin and prescription drugs, but they mostly bypass drug kingpins, and go for arrest stats instead, chasing the victims of the drug trade, the addicted.
Our current law enforcement policies come awfully close to criminalizing an individual’s status, as an addict, when we know well an addict likely can’t help himself, and may commit other crimes to afford his fix.
In the case of prescriptions, law enforcement resists the critical and fine distinction that a chronic pain patient may be dependent on pain medication to function and the treating doctor is healing rather than dealing prescription drugs. As a former federal prosecutor from New York, I learned early on that drug dependency would never be solved by prosecuting the victims. But it’s easy pickings to criminalize young users and addicts.
There is a partial solution to our drug problem in this County and it’s a Drug Court.
When this was proposed years ago, the County Board of Supervisors said they didn’t want to coddle these “criminals.” In recent days, Republican Delegate Randy Minchew introduced a bill (HB 180) in the General Assembly to create a Drug Court for the City of Winchester, and the Counties of Frederick and Warren, but not for Loudoun. Why is that? Continue reading