Researcher Delves into Drugs, Police 

  Researcher Delves into Drugs, Police 

Posted by FoM on January 31, 2001 at 11:52:26 PT
By Thom Marshall 
Source: Houston Chronicle  

Interest in the great drug war debate grows apace. Mel Taylor, executive director of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, offered a setting: "We have full sound and related media equipment, room for more than 250, ample free parking, and it seems appropriate to hold the discussion here at Houston's oldest 55-year-old drug and alcohol education agency." 
Local attorney Mark Bennett said: "The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association would love to sponsor or co-sponsor your proposed debate on the merits of the drug war." And he included taking care of administrative details in his offer. So I won't have to worry about my part of organizing the debate. If there is one. As mentioned in previous episodes, a fellow in a powerful drug-war-waging position issued the challenge. But when I responded, he said he couldn't accept my acceptance until clearing it with his bosses, which he hadn't done first. Later he said his Houston honchos said OK, and now we are waiting for it to be cleared by Washington brass. Recommended Far and Wide:Meanwhile, people have e-mailed from about the nation to provide information and advice and to volunteer or nominate someone else to serve on the debate team. But skepticism is running about as deep as interest. Many people believe the challenger will be required to withdraw. They tell of other failed efforts to debate the drug war. But if it does happen, one man with multiple recommendations as an ideal member of the debate team is Joseph McNamara. He is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif., but that follows a 35-year career in law enforcement. He started as a beat patrolman in Harlem, was police chief in Kansas City, Mo., from 1973 until 1976, when he became chief in San Jose, Calif., retiring in 1991. He has worked as an instructor and lecturer at many universities, has written a text on crime prevention and is author of several successful detective novels. Here is a comment from his testimony at the Citizens' Commission on U.S. Drug Policy convened in May 1999 in California by the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies: "The United States is awash in illegal drugs, awash in illegal drug corruption, and awash in illegal drug violence, and we are trying to export this to every nation in the world. I would suggest that one reason that we are in this fix is that we have not been able to have an objective debate over why our society chooses to lock people up because they put certain chemicals into their blood." He said his theory of why objective debate has been lacking is because of something he learned when researching how the nation's first drug laws were passed: "The congressional record is full of testimony that is totally racist and false ... ." One of McNamara's special interests has been how the drug war has corrupted cops. He said traditional police scandals involved gangsters paying off cops, but all too often in drug war corruption, "the police were the gangsters -- on duty committing armed robberies, at times murder, stealing drugs, selling drugs, framing people, and committing predatory crimes. Now, this was not an aberration limited to one city. This was something that occurred all across America, from big towns, to small towns, sometimes from the chief down to the beat officer." Corrupt Cop Caught by Banker:One of a great many specific examples of corruption McNamara cites involved the DEA agent who put the handcuffs on General Noriega after U.S. troops had stormed Panama City. That same agent was arrested about a year later in Los Angeles, "when he stole $720,000 in laundered drug money," McNamara said. "He probably worked 35 years, could have looked forward to a pension of perhaps $35,000 a year, and suddenly sitting on his desk is $720,000, tax-free. He knew he wouldn't be caught, and indeed he was not caught by the DEA. His banker turned him in -- unusual fluctuations in his account." Despite the famous "code of silence" that discourages honest cops from busting the corrupt ones, McNamara said he knows of "a few hundred dissident cops who think the drug war is asinine, and some of them are willing to put their name behind it and we're beginning to build some momentum." Anyone interested in reading more of his testimony at the commission can find it in "The War on Drugs: Addicted to Failure," a report published by the Institute for Policy Studies. Thom Marshall's e-mail address is: thom.marshall chron.comSource: Houston Chronicle (TX)Author: Thom MarshallPublished: January 31, 2001Copyright: 2001 Houston ChronicleAddress: Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260, Houston, Texas 77210-4260Fax: (713) 220-3575Contact: viewpoints chron.comWebsite: for Policy Studies Progressive Challenge Articles - Thom Marshall

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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 31, 2001 at 13:37:56 PT
I sure am!
Yup that's my name Dr. Russo.Friend of Mischief! LOL!
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Comment #5 posted by observer on January 31, 2001 at 13:26:24 PT
Drug Policy Debate -- more links
The Drug Policy Debate -- debate links especially:DEA: Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization ("How to Hold Your Own in a Drug Legalization Debate") DRCnet response, here:
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Comment #4 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on January 31, 2001 at 12:40:29 PT:

FoM, I love that doughnut! You are a mischievous one, tweaking our brothers in blue, aren't you?
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Comment #3 posted by Duzt on January 31, 2001 at 12:13:45 PT

If not...
If, which most likely will happen, the gov. decides they don't need to debate because the don't want to, we really need somebody like Soros to pay for a spot on national TV to publicly challenge ANY gov. official to a debate (or team of officials) on the drug war. This has to get out in the public eye much more often. I always print out these news articles and EVERY person I have shown has changed their uninformed opinion, and were shocked. Let's bring this to the national TV stage.
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Comment #2 posted by jAHn on January 31, 2001 at 12:10:10 PT

All kewl! I AM SOOO HAPPY to hear that Officer McNamara is gaining his momentum! I read about this fellow awhile ago, and had such high hopes that I e-mailed N.O.R.M.L. a message- asking if they had this guy on their side. As it appears, YES! Along with a hundread more cops! This is what we need after all of this Anslingered Years. Someone NEEDS to put this Government back in (Somekinda) order. How many cops have been turned into Bandits via the W.OnSome Drugs? I can tell you one thing for sure, being a native of N.J. for my entire life, New Jersey has LOTS of evidence against them that Racial Tension has been MORE THAN abound in this state...But when are the "officials" going to step in and clean up?????? We're ALL waiting, not just a couple of PahT heads!!!
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on January 31, 2001 at 12:08:37 PT:

to Mr. Marshall in his quest. I have read Dr. McNamara's work extensively, and find him one of the most compelling voices on the issue.BTW, I E-mailed Mr. Marshall with my interest in joining the debate, and he was very cordial and diligent in responding to my inquiry. I suspect he would do a fine job with this important task. Now, if he can only find a willing opponent----
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