Monday, October 22, 2007
Some News on Illegal Drugs
Interesting couple of stories on OR, where groups are pushing for pot decriminalization but where already small amounts of pot don’t get you in trouble and where the med marijuana use is skyrocketing, even for back pain and menstrual cramps. I actually feel sorry for the law enforcers there who really have been put into a netherworld, it sounds like. And if the decrim stuff happens, who knows where that could spread, although the suicide and health care plans that came out of OR didn’t really take off. Meanwhile, another case of “shut it off here, it’ll pop up there,” this time in TN, where law enforcement is finding that homegrown meth operations are picking back up even with ingredients restricted more tightly because the Mexican government’s move on drug trafficking has been effective (for now) in shutting down those dealers. With prices up and demand still high, the mom-and-pop suppliers look to get back in business. Is this happening in the other states with the same history of restricting ingredients and seeing in-state operations get shut down? Finally, not news really, but a review of that North Wales’ Chief Constable’s call for legalization of drugs with this concluding comment: Brunstrom's recommendations come in the context of reports that last year violent crime in Scotland increased by 40%, largely driven by alcohol abuse, part of a UK-wide trend of increasing alcoholism. What's more, the cost of the war on drugs has mounted to £13 billion a year and the number of people incarcerated for drug crimes has risen 100% in the last decade. To Brunstrom the problems seem obvious. Alcohol and tobacco are growing problems which are being neglected, while resources are being wasted in a war on other drugs which serves mostly to enrich drug producers, dealers, and organized crime. The question which remains unanswered is whether anyone in government will listen, even when the cry from reform comes from a top law enforcement official. If I'm the only one hearing him, did the tree still fall?