By Bryan Chambers
Huntington Herald Dispatch, WV
CHARLESTON -- Gov. Joe Manchin said Thursday that tougher penalties for first-time drug offenders would go a long way toward solving the state's growing drug problem.
"We've declared war on drug dealers, and we're not going to stop until we win," Manchin told a group of reporters and editors during a West Virginia Press Association meeting. "They should be treated the same as sex offenders, as far as I'm concerned. They both prey on our children."
Governor Manchin, in his efforts to induce hysteria, seems to be endorsing the idea of punishing people not on the basis of crimes they have committed but on the basis of crimes he feels they might commit.