The editor:

I had not taken the time before, but now as semi-retired, I reviewed in detail the page one story in the May 24 issue listing 17 felony indictments returned by the Carter County Grand Jury in the middle of April.

Of the 17 indictments, 11 were related to drugs with 9 of those involving meth. There were three burglaries and three flagrant non-support of children.

It occurred to me that, though not on their face drug related, there is a good chance the burglaries were related to need for items to sell to raise money to buy drugs. The three non-supports may be related to needing the support money to buy drugs.

The average age of the drug indicted accused was well under age 30. Average age of the three females was only 2l years old. Felony convictions, even if sentences are probated carry terrible consequences: loss of job opportunities, loss of trust from family and friends, being first suspected when new crimes are committed and a continuing loss of respect and stigma—all terrible consequences, far outweighing the temporary fix that the drugs bring.

The best advice of an old person who has never once used an illegal drug is a continuation of Nancy Reagan's famous saying "Just Say No," or my belief if you never start you never have to worry about being made to quit by jail or prison guards. Despite many young people's false belief that "everybody does it," know that the great great majority of people do not use drugs. In fact, though I know hundreds of people, none of them use drugs except for the few that I represented over my fifty years as an attorney.

Moms and dads out there — please have your children read this letter, or if they are too young or unable to read, read it to them. Age 12 is not too young to start giving this lesson.

Robert L. Caummisar



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