Saturday, October 01, 2011

More Police Come Out Against Prohibition

From Moms United To End The War On Drugs

The Colorado Independent tells the story.
Hundreds of law enforcement professionals including Denver’s U.S. District Judge John Kane have come together on a curious quest: Saying the drug war has failed, they want to legalize drugs.

Some are very nuts and bolts, saying the war on drugs has cost trillions of dollars while only making the problem worse. Others like Kane, while agreeing on that point, are more philosophical. “Our national drug policy is inconsistent with the nature of justice, abusive of the nature of authority, and ignorant of the compelling force of forgiveness,” he says on the web site of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
I'm of the opinion that we can't have a Free Country with a prohibition regime that arrests 1.6 million people a year for prohibition violations. Eric pretty much agrees although he is less sanguine than I am that it will end any time soon.

Winston Churchill said Alcohol Prohibition was "an affront to the whole history of mankind." And it seems so is Drug Prohibition.
Tony Ryan, who was a Denver police officer for more than 35 years, told The Colorado Independent that not only has the drug war been utterly ineffective but that it has also been counterproductive in many important ways.

He says the war on drugs is the number one reason cops become corrupt. “It’s the money. These drug cartels don’t care who they kill. Even a good cop, faced with the choice of ‘take this money or we’ll kill you’ will often take the money. And it is getting worse. Drugs are a vicious business,” he said.
The way it is put in the vernacular is Plata O Plomo, Silver Or Lead. An easy choice. Anyone who knows the history of Alcohol Prohibition knows that it was the same for that Prohibition regime. Human nature being what it is.

Officer Ryan goes on:
He says that while the money coming from the sale of drugs causes huge problems on one hand, money coming from the federal government–with virtually every law enforcement organization in the country getting grants of one sort or another to fight the drug war–causes additional problems.

The war on drugs is an addiction because of the money police departments get,” Ryan says.

What the officer is saying is that a significant segment of local law enforcement has been Federalized. I don't believe that is what our Founders had in mind when they designed our governing arrangements some 220 years ago. Thomas Jefferson had something to say about that:
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
As usual desperate times call for desperate measure.
Ryan is among those circulating petitions for Colorado’s Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol initiative. He also serves as a public speaker through LEAP.

“We give members of law enforcement, who saw the drug war up close and risked their lives for it, a voice,” Tom Angell, spokesman for the group, told the Colorado Independent. “They will almost universally tell you that the drug war distracted them from the mission of solving crimes and ensuring public safety.”

He says LEAP wants to see all drugs made legal. “There is no drug that is made safer to the public by turning its manufacture and distribution over to cartels and gangs. You don’t want gangs selling drugs on your street corners, but that is what you have,” he said.
About 75 percent of Americans and 69 percent of police chiefs say that Drug Prohibition has failed.

You might also want to support another police organization against Drug Prohibition at Citizens Opposing Prohibition.

You can watch a history of that earlier failure tomorrow evening on PBS. It is called "Prohibition". Check your local listings.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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