#256 Noelle Bush’s Case Highlights Drug War Flaws

Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002
Subject: #256 Noelle Bush’s Case Highlights Drug War Flaws

Noelle Bush’s Case Highlights Drug War Flaws

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert # 256 Oct 4, 2002

The continuing sad odyssey of Noelle Bush, the daughter of Florida
Governor Jeb Bush, took another turn earlier this week as a court in
Orlando ruled that the employees of the treatment center she is living
at cannot be forced to testify against her in pending criminal charges
of crack cocaine possession.

It is definitely reasonable to many people that Ms Bush’s time in the
Center for Drug Free Living should be kept from the public eye so as
to better assist her and the professionals there who seek to assist
her in dealing with her drug abuse issues. What is clear to most
everyone is that Noelle Bush’s case highlights the problems associated
with drug prohibition. Since she was forced into treatment by virtue
of her criminal charges last January, she is subject to a solid prison
term should she fail to meet the terms of the drug court. Governor
Bush is thus brought face to face with the reality that prison cells
do nothing to assist drug abusers and so he of course does not want to
see his own daughter subject to such sanctions.

Indeed the situation in Florida prisons is even worse following Bush’s
elimination of state funded in-prison drug treatment this past January
(the legislature later restored 40% of those monies). According to FL
Drug Czar James McDonough, over 80% of Florida’s inmate population of
almost 75,000 (about 60,000) suffer from some form of drug abuse
behavior or habits.


Please consider writing to any of the Florida newspapers and/or the
other newspapers that have carried the recent updates of Noelle’s
story and telling them how you feel about the hypocrisy of protecting
some citizens from jail, while others who have committed equal or
lesser crimes must suffer in jail or prison.

Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do

(Letter, email messages, etc.)

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Following is a list of links to Florida newspapers that have carried
coverage of Noelle’s court case. Unlike many LTEs you need not reference a
specific headline or story. Simply referencing Noelle’s case should be
sufficient to provide proper context to your letter.

The biggest paper in the state(circulation)is the St Petersburg Times

Other major market papers are:
Tampa Tribune: tribletters@tampatrib.com
Miami Herald: heralded@herald.com
Orlando Sentinel: insight@orlandosentinel.com

Florida Times-Union(Jacksonville): jaxstaff@jacksonville.com
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: letters@sun-sentinel.com
Palm Beach Post: letters@pbpost.com

Florida Today(Melbourne/SpaceCoast):
Bradenton Herald: http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/contact_us/feedback/
Daytona Beach News-Journal: letters@news-jrnl.com

Gainesville Sun: voice@gvillesun.com
The Ledger(Lakeland): voice@theledger.com
News-Press(Ft Myers): mailbag@news-press.com

Pensacola News-Journal: opinion@pensacolanewsjournal.com
Sarasota Herald-Tribune: editor.letters@herald-trib.com
Tallahassee Democrat: tdedit@taldem.com

Please write your local newspapers on this subject as

To find the Letter to the Editor email addresses for your area
newspapers go to http://www.mapinc.org/media.htm Use the “List by
Area” drop down to select and display your area. Then click on
“contact” to obtain the contact information for each newspaper.

(Please note: If you choose to use this letter as a model please modify it
at least somewhat so that the paper does not receive numerous copies of the
same letter and so that the original author receives credit for his/her work.)
Dear Editor:

To the editor:

The Noelle Bush case strongly highlights the hypocrisy and flaws
inherent in Governor Jeb Bush’s drug policies. While it is
appropriate for Noelle to have anonymity in her drug treatment
setting, it is unfortunate that she has access to such protections
while thousands of other non-violent drug offenders rot in jail cages.

This past January, Governor Bush eliminated the entire state funding
for in-prison drug treatment programs (the legislature later restored
about 40% of these monies). With over 80% of Florida jail inmates
having some form of drug abuse problem, most will languish without
needed attention and therefore their chances of recidivism and
continued drug abuse problems will remain upon their release from jail.

It seems that Mr Bush wants it both ways. He harshly slashes drug
treatment options in the prison system but then uses his legal team to
protect his own daughter from such a fate. It seems only right that
he must either allow his daughter to be prosecuted fully or he should
reconsider fully funding in-prison drug treatment for the 60,000
Floridians who lack Noelle’s legal resources.

Or maybe, GASP, Bush could reconsider the entire policy of making
Floridians who have committed no other crime than drug possession be
subject to jail sanctions in the first place.


Stephen Heath
Clearwater FL

(Always include your address and phone number for newspaper verification.
Most papers will not print your letter otherwise.
ADDITIONAL INFO to help you in your letter writing efforts, Please See:

Writer’s Resources http://www.mapinc.org/resource/
Prepared by:
Stephen Heath for the Drug Policy Forum of Florida http://www.dpffl.org
Focus Alert Specialist