Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

It's been a rather busy time recently, with the auto companies, Blago, and Minnesota, but something else has happened, something truly shocking.  Some of us occasionally check out what the opposition is saying, but I personally limit myself to redstate (I checked what freerepublic was saying on November 4th and my eyes started to bleed, my bowels failed, and I woke up 2 days later in a puddle of my own vomit.  Lesson learned).  But on redstate, occasionally seemingly rational discussion seems to occur.  Today, something truly rational hit their rec list:

This story is why the War on Drugs is an utter failure!

Checking out FOX online and here is example of overreaching in the 90's that have so many young males of all colors sitting in prison for the rest of their life.  I know that there had to be an answer to so many, many young people being murdered for CRACK COCAINE because you could just watch the TV in the mid 80's and feel the saddness of the families and utter disregard for life that most showed other gang members.

Then there are people like the one in the FOX story who will pay for the rest of their lives for what should have been minor charges...certainly he conspired to introduce the two drug dealers BUT he didn't kill anyone and those that did that turned on him have already been released.  I told my husband that whomever because the RNC Chairman should address the issue of the failed WAR ON DRUGS.

Most people don't even know that one young guy or girl with crack will do more time in jail than the dealer who has it in powder form ie: the true DEALER....The country cried out for SOMETHING and the Federal Government as it always does went overboard.  The non-violent drug offense shouldn't be LIFE in JAIL it should be an order to rehab.  I do of course think that young people will make mistakes we all know them or they could be our children...

WE as a nation cannot continue to just lock up 1st time drug offenders and WE as a nation cannot have our police being militarized as they have been since the CRACK WARS!  and WE as a nation cannot just continue to build prisons....Drugs have been around since the beginning of time including here with the Native Americans and peyote.

I have stressed so many times that I am a LAW AND ORDER American but sometime the laws are so onerous as to to deny people (usually the young) the right to an opportunity for forgiveness.  There will be those who will do it again and then they should pay the high cost of low living BUT 1st time drug offenders are NOT murderers or child rapists and as such should NOT have to pay the ultimate price of LIFE!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,4617 47,00.html

Whoa.

As anyone can clearly see, we spend billions of dollars to fight the production of drugs, monitor their movements, and arrest and jail their dealers and users.  We have been doing so for decades yet drugs are very much available and affordable.  Half the country has tried drugs, including notable politicians such as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Al Gore, Clarence Thomas, Newt Gingrich, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Bloomberg, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Howard Dean.  Drug cartels are as powerful as ever and violence is prevalent in cities, and in the countries where they move their products through, such as Mexico, which has seen an unprecedented wave of murders and corruption.  The police have become increasingly militarized, and private surveillance more acceptable.  For every drug dealer put behind bars, another takes their place.

Most of us here understand this and I am probably preaching to the choir.  But to see similar sentiments being spoken on REDSTATE of all places...check out the comments to that diary:

I am not sold on legalzing drugs, but I do think going after the major dealers and not the end user makes the most sense. Also, a person's home is their castle, if they are not producing for dealing, and don't bother anyone else, then leave them alone and stop wasting our money.

The WOD has failed, and should never have been fought in the beginning. It has been a convenient excuse for those who would be in control to pass any law they desire under the guise of public safety.

agree 110%. I remember hearing Mike Huckabee make a lot of these same points during the Republican primary debates, and I agreed with him then wholeheartedly. I have always thought that, with the way the war on drugs is waged, that we are just creating bigger, badder criminals by sending these kids to jail instead of rehabilitating them.

Glad to see someone else besides me an Birdmojo making this argument.  I remember being raked over the coals just a few years ago for saying much the same thing (although in my abrasive manner). Maybe we are making progress.

the War on Drugs Hysteria is a great temptation for local cops to act in a criminal way. Here in my own neighborhood we had a cop plant some drugs in a teenagers car and get the kid thrown in jail and his life ruined.

It only came out because the cop's daughter suspected he did it because the kid was dating her. She got him to confess it to her and she cleared the kid. But the way things are now, it is just too easy to ruin someones entire life.

But, since it seems you've been around cops, you know that the World breaks down to cops, crooks, and civilians, and the cops and the crooks have more incommon with each other than with the civilians.

Look into the research by criminologist. The case is closed. Taking an addict and putting that person in a cell just makes them a bigger addict. Take one drug dealer off the streets, at least two emerge to replace the market because there is not just one person who knows everyone the previous dealer knew. Therefore, each time you put a dealer in jail, society gets two more dealers. Aint that a deal!!!

Personally I feel that treating a vice as a crime is patently un-american. It's the kind of social wedge that leads to political correctness and thought police.

I'm constantly surprised at how universally the War on Drugs is declared a failure. I can't think of a single constituency that really supports it, but politicians and actual policy don't seem to reflect this at all.

Unfortunately, many of those who share the belief in limited government forget about said principle when it comes to something they find personally repulsive. Principles that only apply when it is your personal freedoms being attacked are just meaningless lip service.

In the entire comment section, there are literally only a few contrary comments supporting the war on drugs.

If Redstate is against the WoD, and the liberal blogs are too (and we know the libertarians are as well), we shouldn't be surprised that a marijuana related question made the top of the list on Obama's change.gov.  There is widespread opposition to War on Drugs, and especially against the War on Marijuana in particular, all across the political blogs, regardless of ideology.  Some find different rationales for their positions, but all come to the same conclusion.  Conservatives see the drug war as fighting against simple supply and demand economics, and expanding the size of the government.  Libertarians believe we should be able to do whatever we want with our own bodies.  All of us together can see how this horrible, destructive war needs to be ended.  It IS a big issue, and its consequences affect us all.

I leave you with a poll, a repeat of one I did over three years ago at DK.  Curious if sentiment here is different.

crossposted at dailykos

Tags: drugs, marijuana, Redstate, War on Drugs (all tags)

Comments

9 Comments

Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

Great post.

Even those who believe drug laws can work are forced to admit that the current policy is a failure.

Concensus among the general public has long since emerged.  Now let's see which pol has the wits to ride it.

by SuperCameron 2008-12-12 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

I'm not expecting full legalization to happen anytime soon.  What I would love to see though would be incremental steps which would take off a LOT of the pressure.  Such as diverting all addicts out of jail to rehab, and decriminalizing marijuana.  Doing just those two things would do wonders for our economy and the vast majority of those affected by the war on drugs.  The rest can wait.  We just need to get started.  More people are jailed for marijuana than for violent crime.  This is insane.

by Skaje 2008-12-12 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

drugs of course should be a non criminal act .

but it would be simple to stop them.

why arent they?

because they create wealth and fill prisons .

especially the non white types.

see?

by JadeZ 2008-12-12 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

When we turned prisons into a private industry, we invited this kind of profit incentive.

We arrest more people for weed than for violent crime.  This is pure insanity.

There are very powerful vested interests who want to maintain the status quo.

by Skaje 2008-12-12 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

Part of that is because it's an easy arrest, and an easy conviction.  In general, when it comes to police officer career moves, it doesn't matter so much the quality of the arrest.  People like to hear big numbers with a good conviction record.  Saying you busted 5 dealers is not as impressive as saying you made 500 drug arrests (99% users), 450 of which were convicted.

by shalca 2008-12-12 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

Check out "Reefer Madness" by Eric Schlosser (of "Fast Food Nation" fame).  Also, from pollingreport.com.

CNN/Time Poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Oct. 23-24, 2002. N=1,007 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.

"Assuming marijuana is not legalized, do you think people arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana should be put in jail, or just have to pay a fine but without serving any time in jail?"

 %    .

Put in jail     19    .

Just pay a fine 72    .

Both (vol.)      2    .

Neither (vol.)   4    .

Not sure         3

Why more politicians don't make an issue of this is completely beyond me.

by the mollusk 2008-12-12 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Stunning diary on redstate rec-list

That's what infuriates me.  It's POPULAR.  It would clean out our prisons.  It would get pot smokers out of contact with criminals and keep them in regular society.  And it just makes sense.  Yet no one wants to touch it with a ten foot pole.

by Skaje 2008-12-13 01:05AM | 0 recs
I'm skeptical

Even if majority of the rank and file Republicans support some kind of reform of the federal drug policy, their cynical leaders will still use it as a wedge issue, and milk it for all its worth.

And like good Republicans, the rank and file will acquiesce again on this not-too-urgent issue, and follow without much dissent.

by Sieglinde 2008-12-13 03:35AM | 0 recs
Not suprising really

Some conservatives going all the way back to Bill Buckley (the leaning toward libertarian crowd) have thought the war on drugs was idiocy.

It's been the law and order/family values moral types, from Nixon through Reagan and onto the Bush's that have waged the fear war against the poor with their drug wars...

But, really, it's all about money. The money poured into Latin American countries to fight the drug wars props up tin-pot dicatators, and plenty of folks in the US make riches from the drug wars.

The problem with repealing drug laws is, it's so easy for the other side to bring out the horror stories of lives ruined by drugs.

What they never have to justify is, HOW MUCH MORE funding would it take to prevent those tragedies?

Answer, NO amount would stop it.  It's just fear tactics, like the war on terror.

Still, I think even the Obama admin will back off a radical rethinking of the drug wars, it's too much of a stretch for pols to make the leap to legalization and treatment rather then incarceration.

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-13 11:50AM | 0 recs

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