Friday, August 19, 2005

Drug war no longer a growth industry in Texas?

Thanks to Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith for forwarding the link to the free media preview of Nate Blakeslee's September feature about Tulia-style Texas drug task forces, aptly titled "The War on Thugs." You should read the whole thing yourself, but I HAVE to preserve this quote from his lede:
Over the past four years, close to a quarter of all narcs in Texas have been laid off, victims of a severe contraction in the state’s biggest anti-drug bureaucracy. Even more cuts may be on the way, depending on the outcome of a budget fight currently going on in Washington, D.C. The writing on the wall is easy to read: After almost two decades of lavish funding, the drug war is no longer a growth industry in Texas.

No longer a growth industry? In Texas?! How's that for a turning point? Don't stick around here any longer: Go read the rest. Good stuff, Nate, and good luck with your book on Tulia coming out this fall. Also, kudos to Evan Smith, who does as good a job as any editor I know promoting TM's stuff in the blogosphere.


jdallen said...

Well, fine. But there is no dearth of other law enforcement, especially here in Brazoria County. You can't drive TX 332 (and that's a short drive) without meeting at least two Troopers and more than one Lake Jackson, Clute and County units.

Imagine how little crime we would have if they were working on cases instead of catching speeders.

Bonnie Colleen McCool said...

The United States has about 500,000 non-violent drug offenders behind bars, more people than are imprisoned in the European Union for all offenses and they have 100 million more people. As of June 30, 2004, the U.S. incarceration rate was 726 per 100,000 residents. That is about 7 times the rate of imprisonment in Europe and Canada.

Incarceration is far from equal along racial lines. The White incarceration rate was 393 per 100,000, Latino-957 and Black-2,531. In Texas, 50% of those imprisoned for drug offenses are black while only 8% are white, the rest are mostly Hispanic.

It is a scandal, the racism and uncaring destruction of young lives to make a buck or feed an addiction to power. Politics and money is their a way to separate them? Our politicians have excelled at distorting reality for years. Big oil, finance,tobacco, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, etc., control our government.

Oil and finance back the Iraq war against their competitors, just as tobacco, pharmaceuticals, alcohol back the drug war against some drugs that might compete with them.

Yet, pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco account almost a full quarter of all those who die each year in the US. That number is probably below reality - if we had newer figures with the Viox "death toll greater than American fatalities in the Vietnam war", oooooooooh, sacrificed to the
almighty dollar- added in.

Illicit drugs account for less than 1% of total deaths! No deaths attributed to mj. A smokescreen - a straw-man to take our eyes off the real killers who we tolerate!

This is a lot bigger deal than the president getting a blow job! The agenda is plainly get rid of undesirables -minorities and those smart enough to think for themselves and blow the whistle on the big picture. They have
shamed, hurt, even killed so many for a wiser health choice in a recreational drug.

Shame on our system, it reeks!

Here are some links to prove the above quoted stats. Research on the prison industrial complex

Prison Policy Initiative

Prisoners of the Census

LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

"Incarceration has never reduced demand for drugs or the problems associated with an illegal market. What is needed is comprehensive regulation."
Suzanne Wills, Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Drug War Peace Plan
King County Bar Association in Washington is getting national attention for its plan to reform drug policy by emphasizing regulation and treatment. The
coalitions 145 page report envisions allowing people to grow their own marijuana and possibly licensing local producers, suggesting that marijuana
might be regulated in a similar way to alcohol. All other so called illicit drugs could be made available as pharmaceuticals are now.