Martin Sheen Joins Foes of Drug Measure 

Martin Sheen Joins Foes of Drug Measure 
Posted by FoM on July 25, 2000 at 07:27:10 PT
By Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Times
Ballot: In opposing bid to provide treatment instead of prison for some offenders, he says addicts need 'real sanctions' by the courts.   Actor Martin Sheen, whose son Charlie nearly died of a drug overdose, declared his opposition Monday to a November ballot measure that would send as many as 37,000 Californians a year into drug treatment programs rather than to jail.   "I've seen how devastating drug addiction can be," Sheen said Monday in a written statement announcing his role as honorary chairman of the campaign against the initiative. 
"Drug addicts need to be held directly accountable by the court with real sanctions."   The people who helped write Proposition 36 dispute Sheen's claims, saying that the measure includes plenty of tough penalties for people who flounder in or flout drug treatment. Those include sentences of one to three years in prison or county jail for possibly the first and second and definitely the third violation of probation. Such violations could include missing classes, testing positive for drugs or getting arrested for drug possession again.   "They're trying to confuse the issue of whether there are consequences," said Dave Fratello, spokesman for the California Campaign for New Drug Policies, backers of Proposition 36. "There are, and they're very severe."   Proposition 36 promises to inspire vigorous debate in coming months about whether California's best approach to drug abuse is "lock 'em up" or "lead 'em straight."   If voters pass the measure, people convicted of drug possession or being under the influence of drugs would be sentenced by a judge to attend a year or more of drug treatment rather than go to jail or prison. People convicted at the same time of other crimes, or of making or selling drugs, would not be eligible for the treatment option.   Backed by drug treatment centers, assorted Democratic politicians and several associations of nurses and mental health workers, the ballot measure is opposed by the state prison guard union, various Republican lawmakers and dozens of sheriffs and police chiefs. Three wealthy opponents of the nation's drug policies have so far funded the Proposition 36 campaign, including the $1 million it cost to qualify it for the ballot. They are New York financier George Soros, Cleveland insurance magnate Peter Lewis and University of Phoenix founder John Sperling.   Stockton developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos recently donated $100,000 to fight the ballot measure, said Jean Munoz, spokeswoman for Californians United Against Drug Abuse, the group leading that fight.   Both sides said they expect to reach voters through grass-roots organizing and newspaper opinion pages, not heavy television advertising.   Sheen, who portrays the president on the NBC television series "The West Wing," argues that the ballot measure would decriminalize "dangerous and highly addictive drugs like heroin, crack cocaine, PCP and methamphetamine."   Charlie Sheen was hospitalized for a drug overdose in May 1998. He was ordered into a rehabilitation program after his father reported the overdose to the judge. "He saved my life, and I love him for that," the son reportedly said upon release from drug treatment.   The nonpartisan state legislative analyst's office says Proposition 36 would significantly slow expansion of the prison system by diverting as many as 37,000 nonviolent drug possession offenders each year to treatment and community service. Within several years, the measure could eliminate the need for at least 10,000 state prison beds and 2,800 county jail beds.   Passage of the measure could save the state up to $250 million a year in prison operating costs and delay the construction of a new prison at savings of about $475 million, according to a May review by the office.   The initiative could in some cases keep from incarceration people who otherwise would find themselves serving lengthy prison sentences under California's three-strikes law. To qualify for treatment rather than prison under Proposition 36, a three-strikes candidate would have had to be out of prison or jail for at least five years. Contact: letters Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2000 Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times Related Articles & Web Site:California Campaign For New Drug Policy Ballot Measures--The Few But The Mighty Emotional Like Proposal of Drug Treatment Brewing Over Drug Diversion Measure
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on July 27, 2000 at 09:07:17 PT:
It never ceases to amaze...
The rich get caught... and they get a love tap on the wrist. Some poor Hispanic or Black gets caught...and they're lucky if they are not shot on sight. And yet someone who has been around as long as Sheen has almost certainly has a passing acquaintance with illicit alkaloids - as do nearly every Presidential hopeful. But he barfs up the DrugWar tripe on command, like one of Pavlov's programmed pups. And the operative signal being the jingle-jingle of coins in McCaffrey's (meaning, ours!) literal 'piggy-bank'.This is why I hardly ever watch commercial televison anymore. Too many people who ought to know better have pimped themselves for McCaffrey's handouts. Then, while at home, they draw the shades and light up a phatty to help get the creative juices flowing and unwind from a hard day of dreaming up more DrugWar BS.Disgusting. 
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Comment #7 posted by T215 on July 26, 2000 at 23:14:09 PT:
Money, Money, Money!!
Who's better? Who's bigger? Who has the most MONEY! Martin Sheen is a hypocrite! Maybe we will see him on a future ballot sometime. Hope we all remember these statements.But don't forget the Sheen's are better than everyone else, so the norm doesn't affect them.
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Comment #6 posted by CongressmanSuet on July 26, 2000 at 23:13:30 PT:
Where is...
Carroll OConnor in all this? Usually they like to trot him out and use his personal tragedy as a reason to continue the madness.
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Comment #5 posted by CD1 on July 25, 2000 at 10:35:51 PT
I wonder if Charlie Sheen would have gotten off with just an ordered rehabilitation, instead of a prison sentence, if he wasn't Charlie Sheen.Maybe Martin should ask the mothers and fathers of the thousands of ordinary citizens who are in prison for simple possession how they feel about tougher drug sentencing.I wonder how much of our tax money Gen. McCaffrey and friends are providing "West Wing" producers. We know the good General is not above paying for "anti-drug" messages on network TV shows. (I am willing to bet old Martin is getting a sizable chunk.)
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Comment #4 posted by fivepounder on July 25, 2000 at 09:20:14 PT
Martin Sheen's latest gig.
Its obvious that Martin Sheen got bought out by someone. Why else? Don't tell me that he is so outraged that what his son recieved (and saved Charlie's life) would become law that he has chosen to lead this totally hypocritical committee to stop other people from geting the help his son got. Oh, and he just happens to have the lead role in a tv series where he plays the president and makes this country look *great*. NBC is probably in part behind this, they already own him and cast him in that role. He's an actor that doesn't usually do tv . For him to do this with his hypocritical position on what happened to his son and this role he plays seems very suspicious.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 25, 2000 at 08:48:29 PT
One more thing
I wanted to mention that he didn't have a weapon and he was caught walking slowly down the street. He didn't resist and didn't seem to know what was going on. That means he should be treated not jailed.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 25, 2000 at 08:28:08 PT
My 2 Cents
Hi Dan B. I don't understand it either. I would love to hear what Charlie Sheen has to say about his father's stance. I hope he speaks out. Charlie Sheen knows what would be best because he's lived it and if he would answer honestly I know he would say helping an addict is the way it should be not locking them up. There is a man from our small town that was handsome, well respected in the community and seemed to have everything going for him. Somewhere thru the years he became addicted to alcohol then he started using cocaine and to make a long story short he was caught robbing a bank and he is in jail. He lost it! They said he wasn't in his right mind for quite a while before he did this. I don't know what has happened to him but he was locked up in a jail that doesn't treat for withdrawal plus no cigarettes and I can only imagine the suffering he must have gone thru and that's wrong. He did wrong things but he still should be treated as a human being.Peace, FoM!Search - California Campaign for New Drug Policies
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Comment #1 posted by Dan B on July 25, 2000 at 07:41:50 PT:
Say What?
"Charlie Sheen was hospitalized for a drug overdose in May 1998. He was ordered into a rehabilitation program after his father reported the overdose to the judge. 'He saved my life, and I love him for that,' the son reportedly said upon release from drug treatment."Let me get this straight: Martin Sheen is against a bill that will provide treatment for drug addicts rather than sending them to prison. He prefers prison terms of between 1 and 3 years to the treatment option. He cites his own son's former addiction problems as a good reason for these harsher penalties. Yet, his own son, Charlie, was not sent to prison, but to a rehabilitation program, and Charlie concedes that the rehabilitation program "saved his life." So, in short, Martin Sheen wants to make sure that other drug addicts who are not as well-connected as his son (and himself) do not get the same life-saving treatment Charlie received. This guy is either an idiot or he's insane.
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