cannabisnews.com: Time Has Come To Reform our Drug Policies





Time Has Come To Reform our Drug Policies
Posted by CN Staff on January 04, 2007 at 08:36:40 PT
By Robert L. Sand 
Source: Times Argus
Vermont -- The time has come for peace talks in the war on drugs. It's not time to cut and run or to declare victory and head home. Nor is it time to encourage or tolerate violations of existing law. Instead, it's time to devise an intelligent exit strategy, one that includes consideration of a regulated public health approach to drugs instead of our current criminal justice model.
As a career prosecutor, I see strong indications that our enforcement model may actually be counterproductive to public and personal safety. Violence spawned by the war on drugs continues to plague our communities. Violence exists in the form of assaults and murder by drug sellers as a result of deals gone awry or territorial disputes. We see violence in the form of robberies and burglaries by users stealing money or guns to purchase or trade for drugs. And, to a much lesser extent, we see random violence caused by drug-impaired people unwilling or unable to control their behavior. Drug policy reform, to include regulated access to drugs, could substantially reduce all three types of drug crimes.Any inquiry into drug policy must answer five critical questions: 1) If we are serious about addressing substance abuse, why do we treat addicts as criminals? 2) Given the addictive and dangerous nature of certain drugs, why do we allow criminals to control their distribution  criminals with a financial interest in finding new customers and keeping others addicted? 3) Why does this newspaper (Editorial Dec. 6, 2006) reject a regulatory approach to drugs yet we regulate alcohol and tobacco, two highly addictive and dangerous substances? 4) If a regulatory approach would increase health care costs, would those costs be more than offset by savings in the criminal justice system? and, 5) If our current approach is working, why have drug use, potency, arrest, and incarceration rates increased and not decreased as enforcement expenditures have gone up?What about young people and access to drugs? Would a regulatory approach result in an increase in use by those most susceptible to the damaging effects of drugs? Maybe, but not necessarily so. Many adolescents will tell you it is easier to get marijuana than it is to get alcohol. This suggests a regulatory approach might contain drug use by minors. Moreover, if we intelligently reallocated criminal justice dollars into education and drug prevention, we might minimize the allure of these "forbidden fruits" and not see an escalation in drug use.Drug policy reform should appeal to a broad political spectrum. Reform would allow us to treat addicts more compassionately and effectively. It would remove government from the private choices of adults. And it could result in substantial savings by reducing criminal justice and correctional expenditures. To suggest that proposing reform is tantamount to "being soft on drugs" is to reduce a highly complex issue into a one-dimensional catch phrase. We can, and must, be more thoughtful than that.There are no easy answers in the drug policy debate. And certainly there are more questions to be asked than those raised above. But we must ask the questions. And we must ask them not only of our state elected officials and policy makers but also of our congressional delegation. The drug problem is both a state and federal issue. With the recent elections, Vermont now has substantial power in the Congress  power that can bring resources to the state but also power that can influence change. Even if Vermonters sought a bold and courageous new approach to drug policy, the federal government might seek to stifle innovation. The states and the federal government must try to work in partnership on these issues.The war on drugs is a war on people. The time has come to discuss a better approach to this vexing problem. I look forward to the discussion.Complete Title: The Time Has Come To Stop The War and Reform our Drug PoliciesRobert L. Sand is Windsor County state's attorney. Source: Times Argus (Barre, VT)Author: Robert L. Sand Published: January 4, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Times ArgusContact: letters timesargus.comWebsite: http://www.timesargus.com/CannabisNews Justice Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/justice.shtml
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Comment #23 posted by museman on January 05, 2007 at 11:07:16 PT
#20
"Since when do the laws of man supersede The Laws of The Creator?"Since gold became more valuable than life.
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Comment #22 posted by Toker00 on January 05, 2007 at 08:54:43 PT
That's Beautiful, museman!
August 17, 2007. Come quickly.Toke.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on January 05, 2007 at 07:26:29 PT
museman
Thank you for the news about Jerry. I hope he is released sooner then that though.
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on January 04, 2007 at 22:48:03 PT
Russell Barth LTEs & Workplace Challenge
CN BC: PUB LTE: Drug Policy Must Be Changed, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, (29 Dec 2006) 
http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v06/n1752/a12.html?176CN AB: Up In Smoke, Edmonton Sun, (30 Dec 2006) 
http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v06/n1749/a08.html?176CN BC: PUB LTE: Plants Belong To Everyone, Quesnel Cariboo Observer, (24 Dec 2006) 
http://www.mapinc.org/newstcl/v06/n1749/a06.html?176
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Comment #19 posted by museman on January 04, 2007 at 22:28:23 PT
OT: Runruff update
Just got his first 'earliest release date'.August 17th 2007. He's a 'short timer' now.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 04, 2007 at 21:12:33 PT
Wayne
I thought Joe was really letting off a lot of steam tonight and that was good. He is a Republican but he is liberal and that's why I like him. Sometimes he sounds like a Republican but his human side shows up more then it doesn't. I like Chris Matthews when he is fired up like he has been recently. I actually look forward most days to watching Chris, Keith and Joe. I don't watch Fox News but I do watch CNN. MSNBC is better then CNN in many ways now. 
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Comment #17 posted by Wayne on January 04, 2007 at 20:57:18 PT
FoM
I saw Scarborough tonight too. He sounded a bit like Keith tonight, he ripped into Bill O'Reily like a rubber chew toy. I'd love to see them try to badmouth Chris Matthews, he'd drop a bomb on all of 'em. I get so sick of Bill-O and his 'culture war'. The only 'traditional' culture he's trying to protect is white church-going families that have kids and don't do drugs, and in his mind everyone else can go to hell. He even had the audacity tonight to say 'most Americans think like I do'. A very smelly crock indeed.All Faux does anymore is rip on NBC because they're losing ratings to them. It looks as though the good folks at NBC are reaching a breaking point, methinks they won't be taking their s*** for much longer. 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 04, 2007 at 19:40:32 PT
rchandar 
Yes it's important to hear it now. We didn't have a lot of knowledge about drug issues because we didn't have the communication ability then that we do now. Most people felt alone and isolated. The Internet and 24 hour news channels have helped us so much.
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Comment #15 posted by rchandar on January 04, 2007 at 18:56:37 PT:
FoM
Okay, it does sound the same, but we've got to keep hearing that stuff! If we compare Bush Jr with Reagan when it came to our issue, one can notice the same impassiveness and sour disbelief in anyone who liked things pleasurable and "different."It must be heard. Originality, I think, doesn't really count. What counts is our ability to expand the discussion into everyday lives and situations. And I think we have a broader intellectual base than 20 years ago; it was unthinkable, almost unquestioned, then. There were more hippies then, that's true, but putting pro-legalization thinking in the hands of the everyday citizen is just what we want.--rchandar
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 04, 2007 at 18:30:09 PT
Patrick 
Nothing is new to me either. If we don't learn from History we will be doomed to repeat it. 
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Comment #13 posted by Patrick on January 04, 2007 at 18:27:41 PT
Deja Vu
Great article here but I swear I heard these very same questions 20 years ago. My how time flies...
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on January 04, 2007 at 18:25:03 PT
Exit Strategy?
I predict a "surge" in the war on drugs. When the Iran war starts it will get worse than we've ever seen.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Welcome, Legislators. We have a message for you...
http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20070103225511992Politicial abuses of psychiatry Part II- am I paranoid?
http://infowars.com/articles/ps/psychiatry_politcal_abuses_part_2_am_i_paranoid.htm911 = JOA:
http://rense.com/general74/9110.htmRandi Rhodes Questions 9/11 'Collapses' During Segment on Bush Administration Lies:
http://911blogger.com/node/5391Truthmove's New Site:
http://www.truthmove.org/
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 04, 2007 at 18:18:18 PT
Dankhank
We turned on Larry King when I read your comment but we must have missed it. We were watching Joe Scarborough. Thanks.
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Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on January 04, 2007 at 18:00:50 PT
on Larry King ...
Nancy Pelosi in a few minutes .......methinks ...
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 04, 2007 at 16:35:59 PT
Museman and Kaptinemo
The link url only allows so many characters and it stops and breaks the link. If you paste it in the comment it will work. Sorry about that.http://justanotherblowback.blogspot.com/2006/10/hastert-recipient-of-heroin-profits.html
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Comment #8 posted by museman on January 04, 2007 at 16:19:33 PT
kapt
Sorry, guess it didn't work. The link is on the same page as your link,See "Hastert a recipient of Heroin Profits"
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on January 04, 2007 at 16:10:11 PT:
Oops
Afraid that led nowhere, Muse. Got another link?
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Comment #6 posted by museman on January 04, 2007 at 15:38:45 PT
kapt
I liked this page;
Drug Lords
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Comment #5 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 04, 2007 at 15:26:17 PT
The Big News of the Day!
Nancy Pelosi is elected the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States. Some prejudices harbored by the government will become relaxed when Nancy passes strict ethics' reforms within the first 100 days of her Congress. She will also ease abusive law against ill marijuana users specifically, and perhaps against recreational consumers generally as well. We shall see.
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Comment #4 posted by museman on January 04, 2007 at 15:15:22 PT
allow me
"As a career prosecutor, I see strong indications that our enforcement model may (MAY?) actually be counterproductive to public and personal safety. Violence spawned by the war on drugs (AND MOSTLY COMMITTED BY OUR CONSTABULARY DOGS, AND PROSECUTERS) continues to plague our communities. Violence exists in the form of assaults and murder by (LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS) drug sellers as a result of deals gone awry or territorial disputes. We see violence in the form of robberies and burglaries by (LAW ENFORCEMENT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WHO BENEFIT FINANCIALLY FROM THE FED FOR THEIR CONTINUING UPHOLDING OF FALSE AUTHORITY AND FALSE LAWS)users stealing money or guns to purchase or trade for drugs. And, to a much lesser extent, we see random violence caused by (POWER DRUNK ASSHOLES) drug-impaired people unwilling or unable to control their behavior. Drug policy reform, (LIKE ENDING THE ENTIRE BS SCENARIO) to include regulated access to drugs, could substantially reduce all three types of drug crimes."Fire 'em all I tell you. End the dominion of lawyers, and their 'profession.' Lawyers should be illegal until such time as our laws are written in common language that anyone could understand. Then of course we wouldn't need 'em, so they aren't about to let that happen.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on January 04, 2007 at 14:35:35 PT:
Hempworld, the game's been on for longer
Much longer: http://www.drugwar.com/blackfiends.shtmAnd here: http://www.druglibrary.org/SCHAFFER/History/whiteb1.htmNixon only ramped up what had already been at work long before he came on the scene. But by doing so, Nixon caused the processes of fascism to accelerate. IMNHO The man should have been put on trial, not allowed to fly off to his estate with dignity like some retiring hero. Had he been tried and convicted, no President of the future would ever dared to do what he tried to. Instead we have had lawbreakers as Presidents since Reagan. We are all suffering the results of such a missed opportunity for justice in this country. 
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on January 04, 2007 at 09:32:45 PT
The 'War on Drugs'
This war was started by Nixon, a career criminal. The most dangerous drugs are; cigarettes and alcohol. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin and yet, the former is legal and continues to addict thousands of teenagers every day. Cigarettes are responsible for 470,000 deaths annually in the US alone. Alcohol is responsible for about 150,000 deaths annually in the US. Deaths from all illegal drugs approx. 15,000. It is clear from these FACTS that the 'war on drugs' is a thinly veiled attempt to misappropriate public resources that greatly favors the alcohol and tobacco industries. And this at a cost of at least 600,000 dead people a year. This is the public health policy of the United States. It is easy to see that if illegal drugs were regulated, many alcohol and tobacco consumers would be saved from their certain deaths. But this would be bad public and health policy, umm ... No, this would be really bad for the profits of the tobacco and alcohol industries. So it is easy to see, that money is the prime motivating factor and not protecting the public health. This is the policy in the United States, blood for money.
http://marijuanafarm.com
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Comment #1 posted by Toker00 on January 04, 2007 at 09:15:29 PT
The guilt trips begin.
I will bet you anything this (former?) Prohibian has a link to Cannabisnews.com. Without another shot fired, without another sentence executed, we must call a CEASE FIRE in the War on Some Drugs. We must call for the suspension of all cases related to drug possession-only arrests, and without further ado, begin dismantling the FDA and the DEA, issuing subpoenas for the CORRUPT OFFICIALS, LAW BREAKERS AND LIE ENFORCERS from top to bottom, and releasing ALL cannabis possession-only PRISONERS from the stinking and vile inhumanity they are now being forced to endure.Speak up you guilty bastards!Wage Peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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