DEAR EDITOR:

Every day it seems the Rome News-Tribune reports that one or more persons have been arrested for possessing or for selling illegal drugs.

What do the officials do with all these people? Do they lock them up without bail until they are convicted of a crime or found innocent?

Or do they let them out on bail while they await trial?

Or do they just have them pay a fine and then they let them go free? Probably not, because if the punishment is merely a fine, the fine becomes a substitute for a license to use or to sell illegal drugs.

If the punishment is a number of years in jail, and if the conviction rate is anywhere near the present arrest rate, then our jails must be full to the brim!

So, what is the punishment for the various violations and crimes? I wish the Rome News-Tribune would do a comprehensive report on this subject.

Among the various drug crimes, the vilest and saddest would be for a drug dealer to deliberately hook someone, particularly a young teenager, on drugs, just so that person will beg, borrow or steal to get money to buy drugs from the dealer.

Can anyone deny that the best way to deal with the problem is to secure our borders, to keep out illegal addictive drugs and drug traffickers, and to arrest and lock up drug criminals inside our borders and confiscate their drugs?

Does anyone have a better idea?

Robert Rakestraw

Rome