Drug dealers in Laurel and Jones County apparently aren’t big readers of the Leader-Call. 

It seems like every edition, recently, we report on a drug bust in the city or county, making us wonder if they did read this newspaper, they might consider another line of work. 

Sheriff Joe Berlin has made the fight against illegal drugs a top priority from the moment he was elected. This weekend, the JCSD acted on a several-month investigation that resulted in one arrest and loads of drugs taken off the streets. 

To believe that the drug problem will go away any time soon is naive — there is way too much money, too many customers and not tough enough punishment thanks to a judicial system that requires offenders to serve only 25 percent of their sentence in so-called “victimless crimes.” 

But by making it tougher on those who do deal drugs, to have them looking over their shoulders, it is possible to get the problem further under control if not eradicated altogether. 

Arrests are only the first step, though. Those who are found guilty of dealing drugs should do hard time. Far too often, we see repeat offenders — many of them drug dealers — released with little more than a slap on the wrist. Without deterrence, there is no incentive to stop dealing. 

Of course, law enforcement wouldn’t have to make so many arrests if the desire and the market for such drugs is not vast. One of the often overlooked crises of our time is how hard drugs — heroin, fentanyl and Oxy — have destroyed so many lives. Addiction is a horrific thing, whether it be to alcohol, cigarettes or heroin. The desire is so great, addicts will do anything and everything possible to get it. There are no winners in the illegal drug trade. 

Law enforcement — as you have seen in today’s edition — is doing its part to tackle this scourge. We should all be grateful for that — and thankful each one of them made it home safely. 

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