Mr. Burke, in his article, has stated the obvious while looking for an answer to Baltimore’s problems and has actually sealed Baltimore’s doom as a healthy city (“The case for drug decriminalization in Baltimore,” Feb. 12). He has put Baltimore against the drug organizations and, unfortunately, the drug organizations are better armed and better financed than Baltimore could ever be in the war against drugs. And it is a war, whether people want to admit it or not. The drug organizations do not give a damn about the constitutional right of its victims, and they don’t play nice at all. Their interest is profit.
So how do you fight them in the war? I don’t believe decriminalizing drugs is the answer. That only leads to a bigger problem of addiction and death by overdose. And believe me the drug organizations will figure out how to profit from that enterprise.
First of all solving poverty in Baltimore is a massive undertaking in itself. The humanistic approach takes years to see results and all the while the druggies grow stronger. When I worked at the national level in drug enforcement in the office of the federal drug czar, one of the biggest problems we faced then was that for every $1,000 we put against a problem, the drug organizations could put $10,000 to counter us. For every weapon we could put on the street, they could put 100 weapons, which are still being illegally imported at this time. Their budget was 10 times or more our budget. While we had to budget for the future to get money to fight them, their money was available instantly. Are you getting the picture of what the problem is? I am not saying the problem of poverty in Baltimore does not need to be addressed. The drug problem and the criminal element is killing people today. It is all tied together but one problem is bigger and badder then the other and controls Baltimore.
So what’s the answer? A full time real war against the drug organizations. Get their people off the streets and in jail for a long time. Fight fire with fire and don’t be hesitant to let the police do their jobs in fighting the war on drugs. Otherwise, realize that Baltimore will never get away from its poverty, crime war and nickname “the most murderous city.” I know I am not proud of that moniker.
As far as poverty, the only way I know to fight poverty is to get people jobs and make them feel like they are contributing citizens of Baltimore (“What if we just focused on poverty to solve the city's issues?” Feb. 5).
Stas. Chrzanowski, Baltimore