Their View: Lack of full-scale law enforcement limits success
Even the most casual reader of the arrest reports and court proceedings published day in and day out in this newspaper would have to agree that the problem of illegal drug use in this area is serious and never-ending.
Battling the problem always involves a multifaceted approach. There's the prevention and education side, where people - young people in particular - are warned about the destructiveness of illegal drug use and made aware of the consequences in a myriad of ways.
There's the treatment side, where a variety of methods are used to unlock the viselike grip of drugs on people. Success is possible but never easy. It is expensive and time-consuming, and for every person who kicks the habit, the risk of sliding back into drug use remains.
Then there's the enforcement side, when the police, prosecutors and courts do their part in the war on drugs: arresting, trying and convicting violators, whether they be users, dealers or, as is often the case, both.
With the stakes so high, communities cannot afford to ease up in any of these areas. Unfortunately, in Kentucky, we appear to be about ready to scale back on one important piece of our triple attack on drugs.
With their federal support already cut heavily, Kentucky's multicounty drug task forces are facing the prospect of zero additional funding from the state. Federal funding for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, which directs money to education, treatment and enforcement efforts around the state, was cut 38 percent.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher's proposed budget does not include additional money for the task forces to make up for the cuts.
Fletcher's budget has money for drug treatment initiatives, regional drug courts and treatment for nonviolent offenders in county jails. All are welcomed. But without a strong emphasis on investigating, locating and arresting drug suppliers and dealers, including methamphetamine makers, drug trafficking will almost assuredly increase.
In tight budget times, funding every good cause is difficult, we know, but the war on drugs cannot be fought well if the law enforcement officers on the front lines of the fight don't have the means to do their jobs. - Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.)
Kidnapping needs to end
The Issue: Jordanians and others who were kidnapped in Iraq
Their View: Giving in to demands shows abductions are successful
With the deadline set by the kidnappers of Mahmoud Salman Saaidat approaching, Jordanians await with trepidation news of their compatriot snatched in south Baghdad on Dec. 20. As was the case with other Jordanians abducted in Iraq, the public is desperately clinging to the hope that the kidnappers will consider the ordeal through which the Saaidat family is going and show mercy for fellow Arabs and Muslims.
The government has been saying that it is doing its utmost to guarantee Saaidat's release and we pray that the ongoing efforts will be successful.
Though difficult to accept from an emotional point of view, the government's stance that it will not give in to the kidnappers' demand deserves full support.
In exchange for the release of Saaidat, his abductors asked that an Iraqi woman, who confessed to having tried but failed to blow herself up on the tragic night of Nov. 9, 2005 when her accomplices killed 60 innocent people at three Amman hotels, be freed.
Bowing to the abductors' demand would mean that kidnapping is indeed a successful way to achieve political goals, and it would therefore encourage even further the spread of this evil.
- Jordan Times