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25 November 2011 @ 05:36 pm
Violent Criminals Get a Pass in the Drug War  
Arresting people for assaults, beatings and robberies doesn't bring money back to police departments, but drug cases do in a couple of ways. First, police departments across the country compete for a pool of federal anti-drug grants. The more arrests and drug seizures a department can claim, the stronger its application for those grants.

"The availability of huge federal anti-drug grants incentivizes departments to pay for SWAT team armor and weapons, and leads our police officers to abandon real crime victims in our communities in favor of ratcheting up their drug arrest stats," said former Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing. Downing is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of cops and prosecutors who are calling for an end to the drug war.

"When our cops are focused on executing large-scale, constitutionally questionable raids at the slightest hint that a small-time pot dealer is at work, real police work preventing and investigating crimes like robberies and rapes falls by the wayside," Downing said.

When you add to this the money we are spending housing drug dealers in prison while we let pedophiles and serial rapists go free way too soon, is there any conclusion one can reach other than that legalizing drugs would make us safer? Even legalizing most drugs would be an improvement. The War on Drugs hasn't been any more successful than prohibition was. Legislating morality doesn't work. Let's focus on actual crime with real victims. Drugs are a social issue and should be treated as such, with therapeutic help and taxes that pay for education and counseling.

A shocking new trend--to avoid severe drug sentencing former dealers are becoming pimps who abduct young women, including teens, and force them into prostitution after raping them and threatening to kill them if they try to leave. They are less likely to be caught and prosecuted than drug dealers are. Often the young girls are seen as criminals when they are really victims of human trafficking.

See also: http://blog.norml.org/2011/10/29/white-house-response-to-normls-we-the-people-marijuana-legalization-petition/