Seized monies belong to the CNMI


I truly appreciate the feds for catching the ice dealers but I ask them to reconsider their request to lay claim to monies seized in the CNMI. I’m not contesting their right to ask for the money but all of that money came from some of the poorest people in the CNMI and from criminal schemes, robberies and theft against people and businesses in the CNMI.

The feds should seriously think about donating that money to help victims of ice crimes like the spouses and children of ice addicts, the Drug Court, and the social and educational support services who are fighting the ice epidemic in the CNMI.

There is also an old saying that rings true with this seized money: An ounce of prevention (education and support services) is worth a pound of cure (laws and jail) as jailtime does make some quit, but not all. Create jobs so people won’t have to deal drugs just to make ends meet and social programs for prevention. This phenomenon of the feds taking the money really needs to change because the true challenge is prevention, not locking users up who get caught after they are hooked. We can never catch them all but we can bombard society with so much education and support that we can reach all the present and potential users of ice and all the hard drugs. Guam is now dealing with cocaine and ice and we are just a stone’s throw away, so the challenge is only going to increase. I’m praying heroin doesn’t show up.

I am hopeful the feds will consider putting the money back into the source from which it came, the CNMI community and your battles to get rid of ice will be easier in the future. Maybe our Drug Court should ask for the forfeited money so they can use it and disburse it to victims, education institutions, and support programs and services.

Ambrose M. Bennett
Kagman, Saipan

Ambrose M. Bennett

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