Posted by TAKASTONE, a resident of another community, on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:00 am
LEAP -- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition -- is a group of some 13,000 police officers, judges, prosecutors and prison wardens who are opposed to drug prohibition and want it ended. On their blog, they note a new FBI report that shows a staggering rate of drug arrests in this country.
A group of police and judges who want to legalize drugs pointed to new FBI numbers released today as evidence that the "war on drugs" is a failure that can never be won. The data, from the FBI's "Crime in the United States" report, shows that in 2008 there were 1,702,537 arrests for drug law violations, or one drug arrest every 18 seconds.
And their reaction to it:
"In our current economic climate, we simply cannot afford to keep arresting more than three people every minute in the failed 'war on drugs,'" said Jack Cole, a retired undercover narcotics detective who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "Plus, if we legalized and taxed drug sales, we could actually create new revenue in addition to the money we'd save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users."
Last December, LEAP commissioned a report by a Harvard University economist which found that legalizing and regulating drugs would inject $77 billion a year into the struggling U.S. economy.
Today's FBI report, which can be found at Web Link, shows that 82.3 percent of all drug arrests in 2008 were for possession only, and 44.3 percent of drug arrests were for possession of marijuana.
Pointing to the collateral consequences that often follow drug arrests, LEAP's Cole continued, "You can get get over an addiction, but you will never get over a conviction."
I could not agree more. Drug use is a public health problem, not a criminal matter, and that is how it should be treated. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in this country every year to destroy hundreds of thousands of lives, rip families apart and make our law enforcement agencies incredibly corrupt. It isn't worth it.
Posted by Willie Nilly, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:53 am
It'll be a great day when The Voice runs a headline about a traffic stop for an expired tag leading to finding a parolee with a loaded gun in his car rather than a headline about how they (also) found a joint in his hair.
So I guess the Voice was going for the "Haha, that's funny about the joint" and just figured the parolee w/ loaded handgun was just a "Oh and by the way"
Posted by NW Resident, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:28 am
I agree with Willie Nilly that the headline is trying to be catchy and maybe even funny, but the real story is that you have a felon driving around with a loaded handgun and now that felon is once again off the streets.
The handgun had the serial number removed, so what does that also say about this motorist? With addresses in Hayward and MV, who knows if this guy is even a current MV resident?
4 outstanding warrants, 3 new felonies from the traffic stop, plus 3 misdemeanors... the joint hardly even factors into this total.