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LEAP. CC Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ______ “The War on Drugs: the Hub of Most American Crises” by James E. Gierach ______ Northwestern University.

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Presentation on theme: "LEAP. CC Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ______ “The War on Drugs: the Hub of Most American Crises” by James E. Gierach ______ Northwestern University."— Presentation transcript:

1 LEAP. CC Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ______ “The War on Drugs: the Hub of Most American Crises” by James E. Gierach ______ Northwestern University – SSDP, NORML Thursday, April 23, 2009

2 Preface Nothing herein is intended to be “pro-drug.” Drugs are dangerous, often addictive, and can be lethal. But if drugs are bad… drug war is worse.

3 U.S. DRUG WAR ( 1970 – 2009 ) “America’s Longest War” Prohibition IProhibition II

4 The Trouble With The Drug War IS (It Doesn’t Work.) Part I

5 “Exhibit A” - Chicago Sun-Times, 2/22/02

6 “Exhibit B” – 40,000 Pound Drug-War Failure Drug-War Axiom No.1: Large drug seizures evidence drug-war failure, not success.

7 LEAP says: “The Drug War Puts More Drugs Everywhere.” Stronger drugs Cheaper drugs Contaminated drugs Drugs without label or dosage info Uncontrolled, unregulated, and prohibited drugs Drugs distributed, controlled and “regulated” by drug gangs

8 WHY DOESN’T THE DRUG WAR WORK ? “It’s the Money, Honey.” $


10 “Exhibit C” - $207 Million Under The Mattress

11 Failed Drug-War Strategies Outlawing Drugs 100,000 More Police Officers Tough Sentencing More Prisons Drug-Testing Big Brother Cameras in the Public Way Prevention (Education, DARE) Anti-drug Ads Drug Dogs Radar Balloons in Caribbean Certification of Cooperating Nations – ABC’s of Drug SIN Keep The Prices High –Law of Supply and Demand –Law of Addiction –Denying the Law of Gravity Interdiction Eradication Crop Substitution Foreign Aid – Plan Colombia and Merida Initiative Mexican-American Fence D.A.R.E. Forfeiture of Assets – Half To Local Law Enforcement Agency Denial of Pell grants, public housing, public employment

12 Drug-War Axiom No. 2 When it comes to drug-war strategy, figure out what seems like a good and sensible idea and, then, don’t do it. E.g. 1. Strategizing to intentionally force drug prices higher, thereby increasing drug-profit potential, encourages drug entrepreneurs to do business. The more this strategy succeeds, the more its fails. 2. Strategizing to destroy confiscated drugs help drug gangs retain exclusive control over drugs. Where else can addicts go? 3. Strategizing to place anti-drug ads on radio, television, billboards and elsewhere puts “drug ads” everywhere.

13 Lesser Funded Drug-War Strategies Treatment of a medical problem (drug and alcohol dependency) is better than trying to arrest and incarcerate it. 70% - 30% Drug-War Split between Law- Enforcement and Treatment/Prevention. But remember -- Drug-War Axiom No. 3: “It’s easier to make a new drug addict than to cure an old one.”

14 PART II The Drug War Makes Most American Crises Worse Guns Gangs Crime Prisons Taxes Deficits AIDS Healthcare Trade Imbalance Corruption No Money For Schools, Job Programs, Drug Treatment, Day Care and Healthcare Informant Law Enforcement Funding of Terrorism School dropouts Mistaken drug raids Contraction of Constitutional Rights More OD’s Contaminated drugs

15 “Exhibit D – Stronger Heroin and Death” Note: As a Chicago drug prosecutor in the early 1970s, I know that the best heroin available then was 2% pure. Now, after 38 years of drug war, 90% pure heroin is readily available on Chicago’s West Side, sometimes cut with deadly Fentenyl.

16 Methamphetamine Drug-war Axiom No. 4: The harder drug prohibition is pushed, the worse the drug problem becomes.

17 In 1992, Lifetime AIDS Cost $100,000 Per Person

18 In 2006, Lifetime AIDS Cost $600,000 Per Person Drug-War Thinking: “Clean Needles Send the Wrong Message.”

19 Deficits National State County City

20 Corrupting Kids San Diego State University, 5/7/08. DEA busts dozens of fraternity brothers, and six fraternities are suspended for allegedly selling crack cocaine.

21 Corrupting Police Chg. Tribune, 12/3/08

22 Feeding The Gangs 75,000 Chicago Gang Members

23 Drug-War Guns Prohibition IProhibition II

24 Drug-War Violence April, 2009 32 Chicago Public School Kids Killed … so far this school year.

25 Drug-War Prisons Note: 2.3 Million Behind Bars in US, one in every 100 adults. Highest rate of incarceration in the world. (PEW Report, 2008.) Note: 800,000 marijuana arrests annually in US.

26 Drug-War Enforcement and Sentencing Disparity Excerpt: “African-Americans in Cook County were imprisoned for drug offenses at 58 times the rate of white people – the seventh-worst racial disparity among large counties nationwide, according to a new report.” Chicago Tribune, 12/4/07.

27 16 Tons of Cocaine and Drug-War Sub Excerpt: “The 45-year-old [Colombian] designed and built 20 fiberglass submarines, strange craft with the look of sea creatures, for drug traffickers to haul cocaine from his area of southern Colombia to Mexico and Central America….” [Cost per vessel -- $1 Million.] Chicago Tribune, 12/21/08.

28 The Question: Why has the Drug War raged so long while failing so mightily and causing so much harm? The Answer: “The Drug-War Gravy Train.” The Answer: The ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys’ are both on the same side of the line of scrimmage, both in favor of the Drug War. Who is against it?

29 LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST PROHIBITION ____________________ Are You?

30 Other Drug-Policy Strategies U.S. Drug Policy – Pre-1970 and Pre-Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 Swiss Heroin Maintenance Program “Coffee Shops” of Amsterdam Medical Marijuana in 14 U.S. states and growing Methadone Clinics Safe-Injection Sites Clean Needles Prisons Reserved for Violent Offenders 1 st Legalized Drugs for Addicts Only Portuguese “Drug Decriminalization” Legalize, Tax and Regulate Drugs – Alcohol Model

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