Monday, June 6, 2011

It Just Gets Deeper and Deeper

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." -- Thomas Sowell


Regular commenter and fellow curmudgeon (one of my highest compliments) Donal sent this link on the report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy to me recently:

I am sure many of you have seen it. Here is a link to the actual report.

Most thinking people feel that drug use, at the very least, should be decriminalized... so who is it, exactly, that doesn't want to stop accusing individuals of a crime, and arresting them (which often means slamming people's heads on car hoods or the pavement; or pointing guns at people and accidently shooting them.... does anybody besides me think that guns are worse for people than drugs?) and putting them in jail, for drug use?

Cui Bono (who benefits?)

Lawyers: The legal profession would be flat on its back in the absence of drug offenses (including driving while intoxicated, something I am very much in favor of using law enforcement to influence people to not do). For every big time securities lawyer in Manhattan, there are several dozen work-a-day lawyers throughout the country whose bread and butter is minor drug crime (and divorce law).

Law Enforcement: Our drug laws are the "gift that keeps on giving" to Law Enforcement and their budgets. Once someone is labeled a criminal, they find employment more and more difficult to find... almost ensuring their recidivism. While in the poke, these folks tend to congregate, forging lifetime connections us folks on the outside call "Gangs".  Said gangs encourage their members to continue "the life", landing them in prison again and again... one of the unintended consequences of all of this is these people are unable to support their children, and these children grow up in poverty and abuse and anger, to replace their fathers as they themselves enter "criminal menopause". Hell of thing.

Corrections personnel: (No offense, tweel!) Over the past 25 years, California has built 25 new prisons and only 1 new college. Not that we need any more colleges... but something in that data point just jumps out at me.

Judges and Politicians: NO ONE becomes a judge or politician absent an incredible ego... my experience tells me that while people think politicians are the worst offender. I think that that is because they have not watched the nation's judiciary in action.

Organized Crime: The last thing these guys want or need is some nice little old lady growing marijuana next to her petunias. If drugs use was decriminalized the price of illicit drugs would simply implode, overnight. Organized crime would have to go back to prostitution and gambling. Oh, wait! Gambling has been pretty much been legalized... that would leave prostitution... and there's  just not a lot of money there to support our nation's criminal network. (Of course, Law Enforcement can see where this is going, and they are defending their budgets with their own propaganda about human trafficking... and they will get some help, irrespective of the facts, the numbers, or truth itself, from that other SIG (that I detest but shall remain nameless) in this regard. That our politicians refuse to acknowledge the economic reality of this is crime in and of itself.

That these groups will be able to hold back the eventual legalization of drugs is extremely doubtful. In the meantime, they will kill as many non-violent drug users (hey, in the 20's Law Enforcement killed people for consuming alcohol!) as they can and collect as much salary and pension as they can. Just how many young lives need to snuffed out in a hail of gunfire from Law Enforcement before we stop this madness? I don't know, and am saddened that there has not been enough.

I am always extremely doubtful that our Creator would give any leeway on his "Thou Shalt Not Kill" to members of Law Enforcement in connection with these abusive SWAT team tactics that keep killing non-violent individuals involved with illicit drugs. I also think it highly likely that people will start to take matters, and revenge, into their own hands, and that this is exactly what this SIG wants. They need a crisis, or their budgets are going to get cut.


Nothing much going on in the Oil Patch - for now. I expect that to change relatively soon.


tweell said...

None taken, especially as I don't work there anymore. If you polled corrections personnel, you'd find that the overwhelming majority disagree with the 'war on drugs', even though their jobs would be gone otherwise. Having to incarcerate and watch over folks that really shouldn't be there is a real contributor to burnout; your job not only sucks, but you are arguably hurting instead of protecting the public. There is no better place to learn to become a criminal than prison.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


"There is no better place to learn to become a criminal than prison."

Our misguided efforts have yielded us our "Gang Problem". Gangs were, and are, born in prison.

I would imagine being part of a system that harms those that don't deserve it is hard on one... actually, I don't have to imagine... I worked on Wall Street! But I don't want to dwell on my shortcomings...

Donal said...

Its always interested me that its not in the police's interest for there to be less crime! More crime means greater cred, bigger budgets, more law enforcement officers. As you say,ditto for lawyers, judges, prisons..... Why would any of them want an improvement in the crime figures? It would be like turkeys voting for Xmas!

Here's an interesting thought about drugs; if you truly want to cripple the drugs trade, flood the streets with fake drugs. Then no-one would trust the quality, the prices would collapse and the market would fail.

Anonymous said...

If you want to collapse illicit drugs the best way would be with a lessening scheme. Anyone who is addicted can get certified as an addict and get a license to buy it at a pharmacy- no further prescriptions required. However, transferring drugs to someone who is not an addict remains a felony. Then subsidize the drugs so the illicit production and distribution channels collapse. In a generation there would be very few addicts.


That won’t work because most addicts buy from someone they know and most of the drugs flow through a distribution network where anywhere along the chain the person knows the people he is buying from and the people he is selling to.


dennis said...

A thousand and one stories of the insanity of the "war on drugs" and still we continue the insanity. Did we learn nothing from prohibition? I know of a young couple that got caught with a few plants. They lost their kids. To get them back they had an impossible list of requirements that the only way to get it done was to cheat. These are not "gangsters". Just a caring young family. It was bullshit.

I deal with young men trying to stay sober every day. What this "war" has done to the fabric of society will never be repaired. At least not in this culture. I was raised believing cops helped. I think cops thought of themselves as people who helped. Today it is us and them. We have lost the hearts and minds of an entire generation. The effects on the cops has to be just as bad. Everybody is out to get them. It is a war and everybody has PTSD.

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