Nation's Drug Czar Blasts State Initiative

Nation's Drug Czar Blasts State Initiative
Posted by FoM on June 03, 2000 at 08:09:03 PT
By Jessie Seyfer, Associated Press
Source: Contra Costa Times
McCaffrey says the ballot measure would inhibit courts' ability to punish offenders who don't go through with treatment. Barry McCaffrey, the nation's drug czar, is urging Californians to reject a new ballot measure that he says would strip the state's drug courts of their power.
Speaking on Friday before the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, McCaffrey said the initiative would be damaging because it would eliminate drug testing and take away drug courts' ability to punish offenders who do not comply with treatment."If you think you can treat drug addicts without holding them accountable, you obviously don't understand the nature of the addiction brain disease," McCaffrey said.The nation's drug policy director said the initiative also would undermine the drug courts, which he supports. Drug courts allow nonviolent offenders to avoid jail and proceed through rehabilitation with regular drug tests and check-ins with judges.Hundreds of drug courts have arisen across the country in the last 10 years, with 101 in California alone."We're on the verge of having a poison pill inserted into the revolution," McCaffrey said. "I hope California, with its trendsetting ideas, will not let drug courts be dismantled from within."Proponents of the initiative, the Drug Treatment Diversion Program Act, say critics have been grossly misinformed. Dave Fratello, a spokesman for the measure, said the initiative was meant to enhance, not eliminate, drug courts.Fratello, who represents the sponsoring organization, the Campaign for New Drug Policies, said the only changes the measure would prompt would be to increase drug treatment spending to $120 million per year and to send nonviolent first and second-time drug offenders automatically into treatment.In current drug courts, prosecutors determine which offenders are eligible for treatment.The measure is backed by billionaire George Soros, who also funded California's controversial Proposition 215, legalizing marijuana for medical use.Supporters of the measure also disputed claims that it eliminates drug testing and robs judges of their ability to send offenders to jail."Judges may set any range of conditions ... for drug offenders processed under the initiative. Such conditions may include daily, weekly or monthly court appearances, in addition to drug testing," said a written statement issued Friday by the Campaign for New Drug Policies."Upon any violation of any condition ... the court may drop the offender out of the initiative's system and incarcerate that person for up to 16 months."Fratello pointed out that the attorney general found the initiative would save the state between $100 million and $150 million annually because of lowered prison costs.Campaigners gathered more than 700,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for the November ballot, far more than the 419,260 required.San Francisco, Calif.Published Saturday, June 3, 2000  2000 Contra Costa Newspapers Inc. Related Articles & Web Sites:The Soros Foundation Network California Campaign For New Drug Policy Officials Lambaste Drug Treatment Initiative For Treatment vs. Jail Makes Ballot Councilman Support Drug Penalty Reduction, Don't Jail, Illegal Drug Users?
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Comment #5 posted by CD1 on June 06, 2000 at 10:49:43 PT
Isn't it funny most of the problems associated with marijuana, are actually problems caused by marijuana prohibition? My favorite line is about the drug testing. Isn't it amazing how someone can be normal one day, and have a drug problem the next day, just because of a urine test. Gen McCaffrey is obviously going to get some serious financial support from "Drug Court Professionals." 
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Comment #4 posted by legalizeit on June 03, 2000 at 21:55:53 PT
Oh, crap...
now we'll most likely see McPinhead's ugly mug on campaign ads against this proposition every 5 minutes in Calif. as elections draw near.What reason does McKnowitall have to come out against this? What "success" do his current policies have to show?Let's see... he spoke at the "National Association of Drug Court Professionals" -- sniff, sniff, I smell conflict of interest. Let's see how far he gets at a Libertarian Party gathering, or an ACLU meeting.He's so chicken, he only speaks at places where he knows there will be a bunch of sheep bleating along with him, just like the "Five Minutes Hate" in Orwell's "1984.">"If you think you can treat drug addicts without holding them accountable, you obviously don't understand the nature of the addiction brain disease," McCaffrey said.Accountable for what? The only thing that makes them accoutable for anything is the sickening drug laws. Accoutability has nothing to do with treatment. Throwing addicts in jail does NOTHING for them (and everything for cops and parole officers and prison guards and prison construction contractors.) If he's really so committed to treating addicts, why isn't he pushing the FDA to approve the use of ibogaine, a natural herb PROVEN time and again to stop hardcore addictions right in their tracks?! In the most idiotic Catch-22 I've seen in a long time, this herb that can get people off "controlled" substances is itself a "controlled" substance!He needs to keep the addicts addicted so he can justify his existence and keep all the vested interests (prison personnel, drug testing companies, corrupt cops that benefit from forfeiture, street thugs, the DEA, etc.) at bay.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on June 03, 2000 at 17:46:24 PT:
A 'revolution'? What 'revolution'?
More importantly, *whose* 'revolution'?I think we have witnessed a Freudian slip of the lip, here. A 'revolution'? Is McCaffrey proposing that *his* means and methods constitute some sort of radical departure from the boneheaded thinking the past? When it is the same old, same old? What 'revolution' is this man talking about? Does he think that he is in the midst of some new policy, for which he will take the credit?I have a nasty suspicion what MISTER McCaffrey is talking about is this: an alliance between the drug courts and treatment centers to funnel 'addicts' (meaning even cannbis smokers, of course) to keep the highly lucrative money machine going. But now with a slight twist: they want to put a more human face on this blatant commercial venture so as to blunt the criticism they so richly deserve. As to seem as if they are developing a 'kinder, gentler' alternative to the simpleminded 'lock 'em up and let them rot!' philosophy presently extant. They are starting to become sensitive to the fact that 1 million non-violent offenders being in jail is very embarressing. A lot of things are happening overseas that the US doesn't like, but when it gets on its' high horse about human rights violations, the foreign journalists have a ready-made comeback about the WoSD having caused more people to be in carcerated than the the Soviet Union. So they are trying very hard to put a smiley face on what is nothing more than another Gulag. And the comparison is earned; many of the goods bought by the West came from the very slave labor factories manned by Solzhenitsyn's former brethren. Many of the goods bought by Uncle originate in de facto sweatshops not regulated by OSHA, but by the BoP. The only things missing are the daily beatings by Cossak guards.
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on June 03, 2000 at 16:00:15 PT
Barry McCaddicted
"If you think you can treat drug addicts without holding them accountable, you obviously don't understand the nature of the addiction brain disease," McCaffrey said.Be careful, this McCaddicted does sound like an addict! Sounds like he needs a 24 hour smoke out box.. What should we use? Ditchweed?? Naw, I am gonna be nice and use World's famous BC Buds.. eh eh... He sure need to mellow out and go away! NOONE can treat the addicts, ONLY addicts can treat themselves. I should know!
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 03, 2000 at 15:29:30 PT
Mr. Drug CZero
From a guy that's calling for more treatment, this guy is just a puppet for the corporation, just pull a string and watch. Ha, ha, isn't he funny, loads of laughs. Yeah right, just watch the suffering of people and constitution destroyed from his BS.
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