Doesn't agree with writer

Re. Guy Bissonnette’s letter Wants to see draconian laws (Castanet, May 27)

I believe the writer’s attitude towards people with with mental health and drug addiction is the only thing “draconian” in his letter.

First, separate sex offenders from street level drug dealers. Sex offenders abuse children and should get the harsher penalties, no doubt about it. But many of the street level drug dealers are the ones who were mentally and physically abused as children and are using drugs only to relieve their pain.

Do you have empathy towards children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Do you have empathy towards children born into families where physical abuse and drug abuse were rampant during their upbringing? Many of these children grow into low-level drug dealers, just trying to relieve their emotional pain from their childhood.

The U.S. tried your approach and it failed miserably. Mental health and addiction is a health issue not a criminal issue. I would love to lock up the Columbian drug lords and gang leaders but they seem untouchable because they use those I mentioned above to do their dirty work at the street level.

When you lock the street level dealers up, what are they to do with a criminal record when they get out? No one will hire them? And when you lock these individuals up, there are many more poor souls to fill their places for those untouchable drug lords and gang leaders.

Instead of being afraid of “tent city,” I’d advised you to go down and talk to them some morning. Or talk to addiction doctors or therapists who work with these people. You need to educate yourself on what's really going on.

My advice is legalize all drugs, treat it like alcohol, take the money out of the gang leaders’ pockets and have them stop poisoning those poor souls on the streets.

Dave Grindlay

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