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Drugs != Homelessness

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2006, at 12:30AM

While reading an article in today's Times on the D.A.'s plans to keep drug dealers off the streets of Skid Row I hit a great "Well, duh!" moment. The plan would make it a parole violation for convicted drug dealers to be in the Skid Row area, allowing them to be picked up regardless of whether they're seen doing anything else illegal.

"It is another stopgap measure that doesn't address the real issues," said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The plan may be legal but doesn't address the underlying issue of homelessness, she said.

Exactly. It addresses the issue of drug dealing. That's it.

I've said it many times: you will not get a handle on the homelessness problem Downtown until you root out the drug problem. Until then everything is mashed and mixed together when really they are separate problems with separate solutions.

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