I received a letter from a decision making member of the court saying drug and alcohol offenders constitute the majority of their dockets. Now this comes on the heels of article in Daily Journal of 6/20/04 with the sheriff saying the majority of his work is devoted to drug & alcohol enforcement. Only to be proceeded by the article on 6/8/04 saying the jail is full. A jail built less than a decade ago. Sounds like we are spending a lot of time and resources on this issue with little success.
I have a web site that I devoted part of the site to this issue. I am only a voice in the wilderness and I am fully aware of this fact. I think the Federal Government should change laws and look for individual responsibility and consumer protection. Stop the looking for a solution via prohibiting use which the addict and others cannot control under ordinary conditions.
But of course we in Tupelo do not have that control, we are represented in Washington but there is no political will for change there. That is why I am a voice in the dark on this issue.
I am going to make a suggestion that could be carried out if there is will. There is a Spiritual Fellowship called Al-Anon. This was formed in the early fifties by the wife of the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Al-Anon is an acronym for Alcoholics Anonymous. The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous felt compassion for the families of alcoholics but he thought if he really tried to help the families and friends of alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous would shift their effort away from alcoholics and their sobriety. He urged his wife to start this fellowship
My suggestion is simple. Every employee of Lee County that is charged with arresting , detaining, or involved in judicial review of drug addicts or alcoholics attends one Al-Anon meeting per week for one year. When this is accomplished I will make this surety. If this is what we want.
1. The sheriff department’s work will be lessened
2. The jail will have less prisoners.
3. The court dockets will be lessened
4. Many drug addicts and alcoholic will seek viable treatment or drink and drug in another county.
5. Reported crime will decrease
But as I said before we may not want these things!
One point, I am not a member of Al-Anon. They do not solicit or advertise, but they do let their friends recommend them.