War on Drugs Taking People to New Lows

War on Drugs Taking People to New Lows
Posted by FoM on March 14, 2000 at 07:39:06 PT
Opinion & Commentary By Dimitri Vassilaros 
Source: Tribune-Review
Has a bag of marijuana ever been arrested, handcuffed, arraigned, tried, convicted and then incarcerated? Are you at war with inanimate objects such as a joint, bong or syringe?If not, then the War on Drugs is really the War on People. And the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office thinks victory is simply a matter of intelligence. 
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. wants to create a nationwide drug intelligence network. His office is consulting with local, regional and national law enforcement groups, coagulating information into a pool that could be used to battle drug-related crime. The program (including the computer database) is still in the planning stages.Zappala said, "We want to address the effects of drugs on communities in a fashion that hasn't been undertaken before. It (the intelligence) will go far beyond names. It will include associations, bars, affiliations, gangs - any information we can get about the people creating and selling drugs."The whirring sound you hear is George Orwell spinning in his grave. And the Founding Fathers, too.Police are the foot soldiers in this War on People. District attorneys are further up the chain of command. You are the commander in chief.Zappala means well. He's simply following orders. Your orders. Zappala isn't the problem - you are.Does America need one more database on its citizens? Are you serious about winning this War on People? Do you truly support a zero-tolerance policy? If so, there cannot be a double standard that targets sellers and not buyers.Therefore, the database must include: names, addresses and telephone numbers of every drug seller and buyer; their relatives (including parents and children); businesses they frequent (not just bars); neighborhoods where they hang and even churches they attend. The database also must include personal information on many of our public-school children.Three weeks ago, there was a SWAT-type drug raid in the Ohio Valley, about a one-hour drive from Pittsburgh. Forty officers were on the grounds of a high school in an affluent Belmont County community.A few (ones who weren't clad in black from head to toe) went into the school and arrested eight kids, charging them with selling pot.Will Zappala's database include the names of kids arrested for dealing - as well as their customers and other kids with whom they've been associating?Maybe your kid made a purchase. Maybe your kid pals around with one who did. "Where does it end?" is the question asked by many who claim to care about civil liberties. However, this Libertarian isn't questioning where it should end. Instead, the question is: "Why should it begin?"Does anyone still believe we're winning the War on Drugs? Trillions of tax dollars have gone into battle, but what do you have to show for it ... other than a steady diminishing of freedom and privacy?If you wanted drugs - RIGHT NOW - do you know someone who may know someone who might sell them to you?Common sense dictates it's time to rethink the battle plan. Declaring a truce in the War on Drugs is simply a matter of intelligence.Dimitri Vassilaros is the morning radio talk host on News Radio 1170 WWVA. His e-mail address is:dimitriv Opinion & Commentary - Dimitri Vassilaros - March 14, 2000 Copyright  2000 by The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.CannabisNews Articles On The War On Drugs
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