Winning the Drug War?

Winning the Drug War?

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/20/2500191/poll-four-percent-of-americans-think-us-is-winning-the-war-on-drugs/

Four Percent of Americans think that the U.S. is winning the war on drugs.

The number of Americans who support the War on Drugs is getting lower and lower. In the most recent poll by Rasmussen, only four percent said they think the United States is winning the War on Drugs. That’s down from 7 percent in November. The number who think the United States is losing remains steady at an overwhelming 82 percent, with 13 percent undecided.

The so-called “War on Drugs” declared by President Richard Nixon in 1971, has turned out to be an expensive and violent international prohibition endeavor, that, more than 40 years later,  is partially to blame for the United States’ bloated prison population.

82% Say U.S. Not Winning War on Drugs

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/august_2013/82_say_u_s_not_winning_war_on_drugs

Americans continue to overwhelmingly believe the so-called war on drugs is failing, but they are more divided on how much the United States should be spending on it.

Just four percent (4%) of American Adults believe the United States is winning the war on drugs, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Eighty-two percent (82%) disagree. Another 13% are undecided.

I’m puzzled. Four percent still don’t get it? Did they misread the question?

Of course, it is important to note how many Americans do get it, do realize that this is a doomed endeavor that on any cost benefit analysis has been a loser for a very long time.

We’ve packed prisons that we built with desperately needed tax fund. Tax funds that were diverted from colleges, universities, schools, roads, parks, social services, etc. We’ve taken our police who we have taught our children should be treated as friends and transformed then into semi-mercenaries dressed like commandoes in a B move. Kevlar armored, camouflage uniformed, black helmeted, soldiers carrying automatic weapons do not conjure up pictures of Andy Griffith as sheriff of Mayberry. They look remarkably like soldiers on a mission. That’s not police or policing.

You see, police work with the support of the public. They defend and serve. When talking to regular citizens who are not committing crimes they are respectful and can even be kind.

Soldiers maintain order and their power doesn’t come from respect except the respect accorded the barrel of a gun. They don’t talk to you. They order you.

Want some evidence?

How about this?

Texas Police Hit Organic Farm With Massive SWAT Raid

SWAT Team Kills Dog With Child Present, Arrest Father In Misdemeanor Marijuana Bust

Ohio SWAT Officer Who Killed Young Mother in Drug Raid Gets             Charged With Misdemeanors, Faces Eight Months at Most

 

And the regular police have become more and more militant as a result of our failed drug wars. They are now much more violent in their own “defense,” that is, shooting family pets.

Off-Duty Police Officer Shoots Family’s Dog Dead

Austin Police Chief Apologizes for Shooting of Cisco the Dog

Police shoot dog near popular Bozeman park

Police shoot, kill dog after capture

Capitol Heights Police shoot family’s dog, Cash

Police Shoot Family Dog While Notifying Family of Son’s Murder

Marshfield police conclude dog shooting investigation

Police Raid Maryland Mayor’s Home and Kill Dogs

Police officer shoots family’s dog

Cops Shoot Family Dog Just Because

Police shoot, injure service dog

Thornton police shoot second dog in one year, owner points to SB 226

Police decision to shoot dog questioned

Police Shoot Dog, Family and Neighbors Wonder Why

Police Shoot, Kill Dog During Foot Chase,

      Doberman Shot In Own Back Yard; Police Say Dog Attacked Officer

NYPD Shoots Dog While Her Owner Has a Seizure

Police Kill Dog, Shoot Owner As He Attempts To Intervene

Video: Police shoot dog in Omaha

Family hires attorney after police shoot dog

The really sad thing about the police shooting of dogs is how little time it took me to come up with that many.
Let’s call an end to the war on drugs, license them, regulate them, tax them – let’s do something else. We don’t have to live in a militarized society afraid of the police and under surveillance.
James Pilant

From around the web.

From the web site, Ramani’s Blog.

http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/war-on-drugs-coming-to-a-close/

The war on Drugs intensified during the Nixon Era.

In 2010, about 200 million people took illegal drugs. The numbers have remained relatively constant for years, as has the estimated annual volume of drugs produced worldwide: 40,000 tons of marijuana, 800 tons of cocaine and 500 tons of heroin. What has increased, however, is the cost of this endless war.

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the U...
Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the early 1970s, the Nixon administration pumped about $100 million into drug control. Today, under President Barack Obama, that figure is $15 billion — more than 30 times as much when adjusted for inflation. There is even a rough estimate of the direct and indirect costs of the 40-plus years of the drug war: $1 trillion in the United States alone.

In Mexico, some 60,000 people have died in the drug war in the last six years. US prisons are full of marijuana smokers, the Taliban in Afghanistan still use drug money to pay for their weapons, and experts say China is the drug country of the future.

From the web site, What’s the Truth? (I used almost half the post and I fell guilty about using that much. I hope the site owner will cut me some slack!)

http://dylanmackinnon.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/the-war-on-drugs/

Let me start this out by saying I don’t do drugs, I have no interest in doing drugs. With that said, it is none of our business if other people want to do drugs. Whether their drug is alcohol,  weed, or even the heavier stuff, the fact remains they made a choice to do them, and the we can not tell them how to live their private life. When the only victim of the crime is the person committing the crime, it isn’t a crime. That’s would be like saying eating too much is a crime.

According to the federal database on crime, in 2011, over 20% of the people in jail were there for either drug possession or drug distribution.

Percentage of State and Federal Prisoners
Offense 1974 1986 1997 2000 2008 2010
Violent 52.5% 64.2% 46.4% 47.2% 47.3% 47.7%
Property 33.3% 22.9% 14% 19.1% 17.0% 16.7%
Drug 10.4% 8.8% 26.9% 25.3% 22.4% 21.7%
Public-order 1.9% 3.3% 8.9% 7.8% 11.9% 13.4%
Other/unspecified 2.0% 0.9% 3.7% 0.4% 1.2% 0.6%

1/5 of the prison population are in there for a victim-less crime. There were over 2 million people in total incarcerated in 2011.  1/5 of 2 million  is 400 thousand. According to this chart it costs on average about $47,000 to jail each prisoner. So if you do the math, that means America spent over $18 BILLION on non violent, victim-less crimes. Seems like a waste to me. Prisons shouldn’t be used for social engineering. You cant use it to change people, and scare them out of using drugs. Despite the threat of jail time over 15 Million still smoke weed. Now some of those people smoke weed for medical reasons, but a lot of them smoke for recreation. Clearly people aren’t threatened by the idea of going to jail.

From the web site, The Fix. ( I, too, fine the militarization of the police and the use of military forces for police work to be troubling phenomenon. When does the defender of the public become a soldier and what does that imply for we, the citizens?)

http://drugwarfix.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/new-york-national-guard-fighting-the-war-on-drugs/

From a post entitled: New York National Guard fighting the war on drugs

According to Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, a military news site:

When 150 New York state troopers, U.S. Marshalls and local city police officers rounded up 52 suspects in a massive multi-city drug raid in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 27; five members of the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force gave themselves a silent pat on the back for a job well done.

The New York National Guard provides law enforcement agencies with equipment and staff to help with  intelligence and surveillance. According to the NGCTF website (yes, they have a website), they’ve assisted in raids that have confiscated about $68 million of cash and contraband, and led to the arrest of “just under” 950 people. That yields about $72,000 per person arrested. This assistance includes the use of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft equipped with infrared cameras. Infrared cameras use heat emitted by objects to create an image. Heat signatures can give away the location of drug labs, grow operations, and illegal plants hidden amongst legal crops.

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2 thoughts on “Winning the Drug War?

  1. Billy Yocum

    A very interesting read with much information to process. I did like the Sheriff of Mayberry comparison, but poor Andy only had the burden of Otis letting himself into his cell after a drunken Saturday night. Once in a while ole Earnest T. Bass might throw a rock through a window in his latest protest. Andy never had Crack, Rape, or murder issues on his plate but I do miss the small town feel of that show. I liked the soldier vs. police comparison as well. It does seem like the chasm between the two professions is shrinking over time. The sad fact is that bad acts make the news more than good ones, sensationalist journalism rules. I would also like to clarify the soldiers restrictions in the field. The most important and often overlooked attribute of a soldier is not when to pull the trigger, but when not to. Soldiers operate under “LOAC” law of armed conflict. This places them individually responsible for any action they take in the field and they all know it. They may be operating under a team environment but shoot the wrong person and the team isn’t going to courts martial, you are. As for the police I generally have negative perception of them as I assume they are operating with too much discretion. In defense of this it is my opinion that the police basically go into combat each time they engage an offender. This surely takes its toll over time by dulling their social senses. I would also like to address the New York air national guard supplying equipment to law enforcement. The air national guard is under federal law and cannot make random decisions without approval from congress. I am not saying that this isn’t happening but just to clarify that its not as simple as opening a gate and loading a truck because a local cop said they needed some equipment. As for the drug issue I agree that using drugs is an individual choice. A drug is classified as something that alters your normal state of consciousness. Marijuana seems to be semi harmless but I am not sure I want to be in proximity of a person who got high at lunch and is now operating a forklift. Secondary affects can be a killer.

    Like

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