Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanks to Perverse Drug War Incentives, Cops Target Pot Smokers Instead of Violent Criminals


"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.
  
Secondly, asset forfeiture creates perverse police agencies to use resources and manpower on drug crimes at the expense of violent crimes.  Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property from people merely suspected of drug crimes. So long as police can show even the slightest link of drug activity to a car, some cash, or even a home, they can seize it. In the majority of cases, most or all of the seized cash goes back to the police department. In some cases, the department has taken possession of cars as well, but generally non-cash property is auctioned off, with the proceeds then going back to the department. An innocent person who has property seized must go to court and prove his property was earned legitimately, even if he was never charged with a crime. The process of going to court can often be more expensive than the value of the property itself."

MP: After reading this article about the perverse financial incentives that cause cops to target the victimless crime of smoking pot at the expense of targeting violent crimes with real victims, is it really possible that any rational, sensible, intelligent, logical person could defend America's "War on Drugs"?


18 Comments:

At 11/26/2011 10:52 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

...is it really possible that any rational, sensible, intelligent, logical person could defend America's "War on Drugs"?

No. But as you will find out in the postings below many irrational and confused people will defend the "War on Drugs".

 
At 11/27/2011 1:25 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"...the victimless crime of smoking pot..."

Second hand smoke can get people high, including babies.

 
At 11/27/2011 3:04 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Second hand smoke can get people high, including babies.

What do you suppose epidurals do to babies?

 
At 11/27/2011 4:44 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Activist illegal drug users promote the false assumption America is losing the war on drugs (which is not supported by the data).

Is Illinois winning the War on Drugs?
Chicago Tribune
July 24, 2011

Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Chicago...noted that Chicago's decreasing crime is an important indicator that the so-called War on Drugs is working.

About 70 percent of all crime can be traced to drugs, he said, and crime in the city is at its lowest in years.

"They (police, DEA, etc.) believe in what we're doing because they see the devastation drugs are causing."

My comment: Drug abuse is positively correlated with high school drop out rates, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, depression & suicide, psychiatric disorders, criminal activity, injuries & disabilities, reduced longevity, and probably stupidity.

 
At 11/27/2011 8:00 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

If the "War on Drugs" is working so well it only makes sense to ignore the ancillary damage, the effects of "friendly fire" that are inevitable in that sort of conflict. Probably pretty difficult to find a joint in Chicago right now.

 
At 11/27/2011 11:26 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Don't like the war on drugs?

Well why keep voting in politicos that continue to push it and finance it with tax dollars extorted from you?

War on drugs, its obviously what the voter must want...

 
At 11/27/2011 11:32 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

noted that Chicago's decreasing crime is an important indicator that the so-called War on Drugs is working.

post hoc ergo propter hoc much?

About 70 percent of all crime can be traced to drugs, he said, and crime in the city is at its lowest in years.

Expanding the earlier fallacy, we trot out an unsubstantiated assertion. I wonder how much crime could be "traced back" to alcohol when alcohol was illegal.

Come to think of it, maybe food should be illegal. Ever see anyone trying to stay awake while driving in a carbohydrate coma after lunch?

"They (police, DEA, etc.) believe in what we're doing because they see the devastation drugs are causing."

No kidding? The police, DEA, etc. who directly and handsomely benefit at our expense believe they, like Lloyd Blankfein, are doing "God's work"? Well, I'll be...!

Now, let's consider the devastation the State (in all its forms) is causing. Even heroin pales in comparison because you must first choose to do blow. We all live at the mercy of the increasingly unaccountable government.

 
At 11/27/2011 12:00 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Methinks, you should be praising the brave men and women in U.S. law enforcement. The article also states:

"...crime in the city is at its lowest in years, even though Chicago is home to about 100,000 "die-hard gang members," and gangs' biggest source of money is drug trafficking, he said.

In 1979, when the nation's population totaled around 225 million, government surveys showed that 25.4 million were regular users of illegal drugs.

In 2009, when the U.S. population was 305 million, data from the Office of National Drug Control Policy showed that 21.8 million people were using drugs illegally."

My comment: U.S. law enforcement has been effective putting domestic and foreign criminals in jail.

Also, I may add, if you believe legalizing drugs will reduce criminal activity, you're in for a rude awakening (legalizing drugs will not make criminals disappear).

 
At 11/27/2011 1:40 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

(legalizing drugs will not make criminals disappear).

Yes, of course my claim is that crime will disappear if drugs are decriminalized. Drug laws are the only thing standing between us and Nirvana.

Is there a reason you've decided to specialize in sloppy thinking, Peak?

 
At 11/27/2011 1:46 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

War on drugs, its obviously what the voter must want...

Sure. And protectionism and pork barrel spending in the voters' town is also very popular because the average voter is an economic illiterate who thinks that government obtains resources from magical woodland creatures.


The average voter will only wake up to the realities of the war on this 'n that when the United States is a full-on police state at war with the population and by then it'll be far too late.

 
At 11/27/2011 2:10 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The average voter will only wake up to the realities of the war on this 'n that when the United States is a full-on police state at war with the population and by then it'll be far too late"...

Absolutely no argument from me methinks but obviously as we've seen there's no law against being lazy and or stupid...

Consider the following: ATF classifies Chore Boy pot scrubber pads NFA firearms

 
At 11/27/2011 7:30 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/27/2011 7:36 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The Myths of Drug Legalization

By Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. He was President Lyndon B. Johnson’s top aide for domestic affairs from 1965 to 1969 and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Carter Administration.

"Any short-term reduction in arrests from repealing drug laws would quickly evaporate as use increased; and the criminal conduct spawned by drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines would explode.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that criminals commit six times as many homicides, four times as many assaults and almost one and a half times as many robberies under the influence of drugs.

Switzerland’s “Needle Park,” touted as a way to restrict a few hundred heroin addicts to a small area, turned into a grotesque tourist attraction of 20,000 heroin addicts and junkies, which had to be closed down before it infected the city of Zurich.

The Netherlands legalized marijuana for anyone over age 15. Adolescent pot use there rose nearly 200 percent while it was dropping 66 percent in the United States.

As crime and the availability of drugs like heroin and cocaine rose, and complaints from city residents about the decline in their quality of life multiplied, the Amsterdam city council moved to raise the age for legal purchase of marijuana."

 
At 11/27/2011 8:21 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yeah, Peak Trader, the appeal to authority is not exactly a more convincing fallacy than your earlier post hoc tripe. Did you say you earned a masters degree? HOW?

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that criminals commit six times as many homicides, four times as many assaults and almost one and a half times as many robberies under the influence of drugs.

What does that mean? How exactly is the propensity to commit crimes under the influence calculated? My guess is you'll swallow whatever horseshit confirms your bias no matter how retarded it is.


Switzerland’s “Needle Park,” touted as a way to restrict a few hundred heroin addicts to a small area, turned into a grotesque tourist attraction of 20,000 heroin addicts and junkies, which had to be closed down before it infected the city of Zurich.

Right. Because these addicts didn't exist scattered throughout the land before the safe zone of the park was created. Obviously, we're meant to believe that half of Zurich dropped their productive life to do blow full time because it became legal to do so. I mean, humanity is just so stupid the only thing standing between the little people and self-destruction is....you? LOL!!

Also, the stuff about the tourists kind of blows (no pun intended. I swear) a hole in the earlier lament that all the addicts are out killing each other when they get high. I mean, tourists rarely flock to high crime areas where they might be shot or raped.

Adolescent pot use there rose nearly 200 percent while it was dropping 66 percent in the United States.

There's totally nothing more reliable than self-reported statistics - especially when you compare self reported pot use from a country where pot is legal with self-reported stats from a country where it is not.

...the Amsterdam city council moved to raise the age for legal purchase of marijuana."

Yah. You'll be hard-pressed to find a person who thinks children should be able to buy controlled substances.

Now, let's see all the negative social consequences for overreating, bad parenting, a poor diet, too much stress, not enough sleep and alcohol.

 
At 11/27/2011 8:22 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

No doubt, Juandos. There's no shortage of stupid. Unfortunately, there's also no shortage of stupid busybodies.

 
At 11/27/2011 8:53 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Methinks, there's much propaganda by activists.

Also, laws and (competence of) law enforcement aren't universal (between countries).

So, a credible expert may add to the fact illegal drug use in the U.S. has been in decline (except only marijuana, likely because of decriminalization).

 
At 11/28/2011 6:25 AM, Blogger Don Culo said...

"No. But as you will find out in the postings below many irrational and confused people will defend the "War on Drugs".

*************************

Whhat a surprise the usual suspect defend the very sucessfull war on drugs.

It has created many jobs andhas put the dangerous pots heads behind bars to protect us all.

We need to have longer jail sentences for pot smokers which will also provide good paying jobs for many years to come.

Maybe we should arrest pot smokers in Afghanistan to protect us.

 
At 11/28/2011 4:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Consider the following: ATF classifies Chore Boy pot scrubber pads NFA firearms"

Oh! You must be kidding! was that article first published on April first?

Uh-oh. I think I just heard tires screeching - and now the sound of many boots running toward my door.

BLAM!!

Oh no! My door!

DON'T SHOOT! I GIVE UP! THE SCRUBBER IS UNDER THE SINK!

 

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