Monday, October 17, 2005

A Cop With Both Brains and An Op-Ed

Although this blog is fast becoming a drug-war rant, I must link to this op-ed in the LA Times by former chief of the Seattle police deptartment, Norm Staper. He begins:

Sometimes people in law enforcement will hear it whispered that I'm a former cop who favors decriminalization of marijuana laws, and they'll approach me the way they might a traitor or snitch. So let me set the record straight. Yes, I was a cop for 34 years, the last six of which I spent as chief of Seattle's police department. But no, I don't favor decriminalization. I favor legalization, and not just of pot but of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine, meth, psychotropics, mushrooms and LSD.

I had no idea there were cops out there who felt more stongly about this than I do. This article is spot-on. Staper addresses both the philosophical problems with criminalizing responsible drug use by adults and the massive unintended negative consequences of the drug war. This nicely coincides with the FBI's yearly crime stats: a new record of 771,605 people arrested in the US for marijuna-related offenses in 2004. And over 80% were for simple possession.

Staper does point out one of the big drawbacks to legalization: the creation of some huge government buraucracy to deal with it, but the inconvenince of dealing with the Drug Control Board seems like a positive trade-off compared to prison time. I don't know if the "no advertising" thing is appropriate, but this guy is saying things that need to be said in every police department and legislature in the country.

You absolutely must read the whole thing.


At 1:10 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

Why some people take drugs:
A well known secret

Addiction or Self Medication?

Why the drug companies are against it:
The War On Unpatented Drugs



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