The Republican governor of New Jersey is the first elected official in this area with the courage to say the unthinkable, jail does not solve the drug problem. Jail may make the problem worse. Once Drug addiction takes hold, it is very difficult to escape. The only hope, if there is any, is drug treatment. Christie proposes to make treatment mandatory for addicts arrested for non violent crimes.
The Northeast Times this week has an interesting opinion piece by Joe Quigley on this very subject where he expounds on Christie’s proposal and applies it to Philadelphia, specifically Kensington and Somerset. That El stop is an interesting experience. Some people say the same thing about our local intersection of Frankford and Foulkrod. It is the same problem on a somewhat smaller scale.
Everybody I talk to at the civic meetings I attend acknowledges that drugs are a major driving force in the crime situation in Frankford. There are new and inventive ways to get people into the drug culture. See John Loftus’ piece of a few weeks ago in the Northeast Times for a new wrinkle (synthetic dope) in that situation. It’s time to finally get serious and make some progress in solving the problem rather than just throwing money at it.
It’s something that has to be done. Drugs are not going away, there is too much money in that industry. The only way forward it to reduce the demand by reducing the number of addicts.