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Get Off Drugs, Get to Work

September 2, 2015
Wetzel Chronicle

We were pleased Monday to hear Judge Hummel sentence Christopher Watson Smith to his underlying prison sentence of one to 10 years. Smith is an example of what can go wrong with assistance programs such as food stamp benefits, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In Smith's case, he was way overdue in making resitution for his crime. It was determined he had made no real effort in finding employment, yet he had somehow been able to find suboxone, most likely by purchasing the drug.

It's an issue that crops up every few court cases. A large majority of the defendants, most of which are young and seemingly able-bodied, do not have employment. They receive assistance, whether it be through food stamp benefits or low-income housing. Yet, they are addicted to drugs, a habit that can cost hundreds of dollars a week to support.

What is the solution to this problem? Mandatory drug testing? It's a solution that is a controversial one. Yet, the majority of us who have been in the workforce have been drug-tested in order to gain employment, employment that, through taxes, supports those who seek assistance. Our employment supports those very individuals who, although for some reason cannot find employment themselves, can find the funds to feed their drug habit.

Whatever the case, we hope the revocation of Smith's probation sends a loud and clear message to those who are in situations similar to Smith's. The message is: Get off drugs and get to work.

 
 
 

 

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