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Your View 5/13

Monday, May 13, 2002

Stop the drugs

It seems that day by day, month by month, year by year, the problem of substance abuse worsens. So many times we want to think that it's only in the larger towns and cities where this problem, among other social ills, prevails. However, especially those of you who have children know that it is prevalent right here in our small town community. We, as well as our children, are being subjected to and affected by drugs and alcohol every day at work, at school and on the street.

The question is, if illegal drugs are so prevalent in our community and so many people, young and old alike, as well as entire families, are being destroyed by them, why is this problem being tolerated and accepted and not conquered? Are we afraid that we'll become outcasts if we speak out against drugs because society seems to tolerate and accept drug manufacturing, distribution and abuse so well? Or, are we just not truly serious when we say we're concerned?

There is one particular street in our town that seems to be familiar to all. Foster Avenue, better known as "School Road." It's a hot spot, lots of traffic in and out, all hours of the day and night. It's not a secret what goes on down School Road. Anyone that gets out and about knows that if you want to buy drugs, go down School Road. It seems to have a somewhat unending supply of crack cocaine for a small price - a life of addiction. There are other such areas in town as well. Lakeview and Froggy Bottoms to name a couple. Each seems to have its own specialty whether it be marijuana, crack, meth, Xanax, etc.

The citizens of Portageville and the surrounding community took pride in maintaining the Portageville School District as a separate entity. Over the years, this school has been one that we could be proud of. While other schools seemed to be in the trenches with drug use/abuse, school shootings, improper dress, etc., Portageville seemed to maintain a higher-than-normal standard. Is this the case today?

It was important enough after the spree of school shootings in this country that Portageville hired a resource officer to be present at school to try to deter this type of behavior in our community. Why do drugs in our schools not carry the same importance? Drugs corrupt, ruin and kill! Is that not enough?

Back to the original question, if the drug problem exists in our community, and it does, and the source is known, and it is, why is the problem not being eradicated? Why are the leaders of this community, as well as the local law enforcement, turning a blind eye to these areas? It seems that using drugs is looked upon as a crime that is punishable; however, manufacturing and distributing is another matter. It's almost as if it is looked upon as a legitimate business venture, not considering that for every dollar made, someone's life is destroyed. Manufacturing and distributing is a crime, same as using/abusing. Each one takes its toll on individuals, families and society as a whole.

It's time that the leadership and people of this community take a stand and rid our community of problems such as this. Please make an honest effort. If this letter can save one teen-ager or one family from destruction, then our mission is complete.

- Concerned parents

To whom it concerns in SpeakOut, I'm writing to you about the article on April 29, "Quit wasting money," as it was called.

Well, I'm incarcerated at the Charleston facility on check charges. I agree somewhat about people being sent to prison for drunk driving, breaking and entering and even other crimes that may fall into this category that's wasting taxpayer dollars.

But I'm here to say if you wish to quit wasting money, quit giving to the state the votes needed to build prisons. Also, taxpayers' money doesn't provide me with cigarettes, hasn't bought me a TV, hasn't done anything except for provide me with room and board. My loved ones on the outside provide me with what I might need.

Now, about putting inmates to work, you need to see the Missouri statutes about work and education. We do end up working and some guys have to go to school. So before complaining in the newspaper, next time check into how this state is run by the people that vote them into office and complain to them.

William Pence