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    Matt 7:12 am on August 4, 2011 Permalink  

    ‘War On Drugs’ Distracts From Fighting Crime 

    Re: “Legal drugs and gangs,” July 1.

    The editorial on the failed “war on drugs” is music to the ears of the criminal justice professionals who make up Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. We know, from personal experience, that prohibition enriches criminal gangs and fosters criminal activity while doing nothing to reduce drug use and the attendant violence in our cities.

    Forty years of the so-called “war on drugs” in North America has actually increased the supply and potency of illegal drugs. Countries which have removed criminal penalties for drug use, such as the Netherlands and Portugal, have achieved declines in use and addiction.

    Prohibition is a threat to public safety. Making drugs illegal has created a profitable black market, and participants in the underground economy can settle their disputes only by violence. Uninvolved bystanders and police officers often pay the price.

    So many police officers and prosecutors are bogged down in drug enforcement that serious crimes go unsolved. In 1963, before the “war on drugs,” all but 15 per cent of murder cases in the U.S. were solved. Today, 40 per cent of murders never lead to a conviction, even though law enforcement now has vastly better forensic tools and technology.

    Let’s legalize drugs and bring the trade above ground where we can regulate and control it.

    John Anderson
    Chair, Criminology Department
    Vancouver Island University

    — MAP Posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.

    Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jul 2011
    Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
    Copyright: 2011 Times Colonist

  • avatar

    Matt 10:09 am on July 26, 2011 Permalink  

    Apparently All States’ Rights Are Not Created Equal 

    Citing federal interference, the legislature has exempted Texas from federal energy standards regarding light bulbs. Texas State Rep. George Lavender hopes incandescent light bulb manufacturers will move to Texas and create jobs and tax revenue.

    In contrast, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, says he will not give U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011” a hearing. This is a pure states’ rights bill. It makes no new law. According to Harvard economist Jeffery Miron, Texas spends $644,477,000 every year enforcing federal marijuana prohibition and loses potential tax revenue of $171,430,000.

    Where are conservative principles when we need them?

    Suzanne Wills

    Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jul 2011
    Source: Kerrville Daily Times (TX)
    Copyright: 2011 The Daily Times

  • avatar

    Matt 9:05 am on July 15, 2011 Permalink  

    The U.S. Needs a Drug Policy That Works Much Better 

    Obfuscation is the name of the game for Joseph Califano and William Bennett.

    The Netherlands has about half the marijuana use we do and, with no marketing link to cocaine, about one-eighth our cocaine use, according to a World Health Organization survey. Marijuana use is up 30% here in the past 20 years, and we have over a million teenage drug sellers in our schools. Legal drugs would be more available? Impossible! A federal government-sponsored report says that “marijuana has been almost universally available to American 12th graders over the past 31 years.”

    The pending bill in Congress would simply allow states to decide about marijuana. We used to call this approach the laboratory of democracy, but this pair prefers Chicken Little rhetoric to facts.

    According to the World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey published July 2002: “Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones.”

    Jerry Epstein


    Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jul 2011
    Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
    Copyright: 2011 Jerry Epstein
    Note: Second of 4 letters in response to

  • avatar

    Matt 9:46 am on July 11, 2011 Permalink  

    Should Marijuana Be Legalized And Regulated? 

    To the Editor:

    Sylvia Longmire misses the mark in focusing on how legalizing marijuana won’t put drug cartels completely out of business (“Legalization Won’t Kill the Cartels,” Op-Ed, June 19).

    Sure, some cartel members will continue selling other illicit wares once marijuana is legalized, but since they currently earn about 60 percent of their profits from illegal marijuana sales, ending the prohibition of that cash crop will seriously undercut their ability to finance continued operations.

    And removing such a significant chunk of the cartels’ funding will make it significantly easier for law enforcement to isolate and destroy them. As a former border patrol officer once charged with enforcing prohibition, I never dared dream of such success. Each arrest only created a lucrative job opening for someone else to step in and fill the insatiable demand for illegal drugs.

    We can either keep going through an endless cycle of cartel bosses brought to justice, or if we really want to reduce the violence, we can legalize marijuana — and other currently illegal drugs — thereby evaporating the profit motive that causes the carnage.


    Granbury, Tex., June 20, 2011

    Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jun 2011
    Source: New York Times (NY)
    Copyright: 2011 The New York Times Company
    Author: Terry Newson, Board Member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

  • avatar

    Matt 8:30 am on July 1, 2011 Permalink  

    Drugs A Problem In Suburbs, Too 

    The June 15 story about another big drug investigation to bust a major pipeline to the Capital Region avoided questions of law enforcement that would address the tough reality that drug prohibition doesn’t work.

    All of these drug investigations are concentrated in the inner cities while the wealthier suburban areas of upstate New York are ignored by law enforcement. How long will it be before the next big drug investigation is launched in the next inner city?

    Statistically, there is as much drug use in the suburbs, but these investigations are selectively enforced and the media never ask law enforcement why. They merely report the number of arrests or the amount of cash and drugs confiscated without reporting the cost of these lengthy investigations to the taxpayer.

    Even in the areas where these investigations are focused, the impact is minimal as drug arrests continue to fill our prisons and courts. Too many of our elected leaders have forgotten the lessons of alcohol prohibition.

    The facts show that this heavy hand of the law is centered on the people with the least amount of money, influence or power. If our scarce law enforcement resources were applied evenly in the cities and suburbs in the war on drugs, alternatives such as regulating, taxing and legalizing them would have a great deal more traction in the public discussion.


    Member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


    — MAP Posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.

    Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jun 2011
    Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
    Copyright: 2011 Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation
    Author: William Aiken. Member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

  • avatar

    Matt 1:05 pm on June 24, 2011 Permalink  

    Utter Failure 

    Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jun 2011
    Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
    Copyright: 2011 Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspaper
    Author: Buford C. Terrell

    Regarding “Hard stuff; Get real about dealing with illegal drugs” (Page B11, Tuesday), the emperor has no clothes. Thank you for your editorial praising the report of the Global Commission on Drugs. That commission, whose membership included some of the most conservative Republicans from recent administrations, showed what almost everyone knows but is afraid to mention: The 40-year-old War on Drugs is a costly and destructive failure.

    It’s time to strip this tired old fraud bare and look for better ways to deal with the problems of drug misuse.

    In particular, those looking to reduce government spending should look at the trillion dollars wasted so far. How much could be saved by closing down the DEA and the Office of Drug Control Policy and removing the 50-plus percent of those in federal prison who are there for nonviolent drug offenses?

    The Global Commission has pointed out the emperor’s nudity. Now it is up to us to construct a proper, noncriminal wardrobe for our drug policy.

    Buford C. Terrell, Stafford

  • avatar

    Matt 9:57 am on June 17, 2011 Permalink  

    Bodily Rights 

    Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jun 2011
    Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Copyright: 2011 PG Publishing Co., Inc.
    Author: Amesh A. Adalja, M.D.


    I applaud the conclusions of the Global Commission on Drug Policy — detailed in Tony Norman’s June 3 column (“Ease Up in Drug War? Smart But Unlikely”) — that announce what has become patently obvious for decades: The war on drugs is a misguided effort that foments violence and abets organized crime.

    However, I fear the commission’s conclusions will fall on willfully deaf ears. Until Americans embrace the idea that people have an inalienable right to do what they wish with their bodies — even if their actions are harmful — no amount of rational persuasion or empiric evidence will succeed.



  • avatar

    Richard Lake 7:23 pm on May 27, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Re: Heroin That Goes Far Beyond Junk, Joe O’Connor, May 13.

    As grieving parents of a son who died at age 19 in 1993 after
    ingesting some street heroin, may we offer our comments? When America
    prohibited alcohol, thousands were poisoned by adulterated market
    booze. When alcohol was legalized again, those incidents were
    drastically reduced.

    Today, our children are dying because of adulterated black market
    drugs. The carnage will end only when we come to our senses and allow
    users once again to purchase clean, cheap, quality-tested drugs at
    the corner store just as tobacco users now do.

    Let’s finish the job we started when we ended alcohol prohibition,
    follow the principles enshrined in the Charter and legalize all drugs.

    Eleanor and Alan Randell, Victoria.

    Pubdate: Tue, 17 May 2011

    Source: National Post (Canada)


  • avatar

    Richard Lake 6:10 am on May 21, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Two days ago, during a political discussion about border problems
    toward the end of a Sierra Club outing to look for Taylor’s
    checkerspot butterflies at the Beazell Memorial Forest in Oregon, I
    mentioned that the Mexican drug cartels have won. There is
    insufficient political and financial will to launch an effective
    fight against those gangs.

    I first heard this opinion from Charles Bowden in his book titled
    “Dreamland: The Way Out of Juarez.” Bowden wrote that the society in
    that city has gone through a metamorphosis and is now governed by drug cartels.

    Today’s Arizona Daily Star online has an article titled: “Mexican
    drug gangs assuming government roles.” If you want to read it, click
    this link:

    The solution: legalize drugs and tax them, just like cigarettes and alcohol.

    When the prohibition of alcohol was repealed, organized crime lost a
    major source of income and the number of violent crimes plummeted. It
    is obvious that present U.S. drug prohibition is not working.
    Continuing ineffective action is costly and does not solve the
    problem. It actually creates problems of overcrowded jails and
    courts. The drug cartels’ domination spills over into the U.S.’s
    southwestern communities and includes law enforcement corruption.

    Living in the Southwest became much more risky during the past
    decade. Oregon is way less dangerous than Arizona, only due to the
    distance from Mexico.

    Ricardo Small, Albany

    Pubdate: Tue, 10 May 2011

    Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)

  • avatar

    Richard Lake 3:42 pm on May 13, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Thank you for the editorial, Insite’s proven benefits ignored in
    political fray (SP, April 25). The safe injection site operates in
    Vancouver with the support of local and provincial governments, but is
    under continual assault by the federal Conservatives.

    Insite has kept operating only through repeated victories in the
    courts – victories based on clear evidence that it saves lives and
    reduces drug use.

    While some people foolishly believe that harsh measures are the only
    way to deal with the drugs we have made illegal, that approach has
    been tried in many places and had led only to more drug use, crime,

    Over the decades-long drug war, drug use rates have risen while drug
    costs have fallen and drug purity has risen.

    We are in the midst of an inquisition run by fanatics who believe that
    drugs can be eliminated and drug users saved if only we can make their
    world painful enough. There is simply no evidence to support this
    belief. How many more people must die, spend their lives in prison, or
    be corrupted and destroyed in the drug underworld before we bring this
    insanity to an end?

    Legalization and regulation is the answer.

    Ken Sailor


    Pubdate: Thu, 5 May 2011

    Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)


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