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Closing gas station won't help

Padlocking stores and punishing small business owners who are fearful of drug dealer retaliation is not the solution to reducing crime ("Police close BP gas station," June 22). This is about drug prohibition, and here is another reason added to the long list of reasons for ending drug prohibition laws which are counter productive to public safety.

In the same manner that Al Capone and his gun toting cronies intimidated businesses and communities as they managed their illegal alcohol businesses, today's drug dealers literally commandeer gas stations and convenience stores while peddling drugs within poor city communities.

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Let's advocate for a true health-centered approach in managing drug abuse with on demand treatment, supervised injection centers with medication-assisted treatment and regulation of certain drugs for adult use. This approach would dramatically reduce illegal drug dealer profits, removing power and influence from gangs and crews, and reduce violent crime. Closing a business does not solve the problem, it simply moves it to another store.

Neill Franklin, White Hall

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The writer is executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

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