Sunday, June 17, 2012

Former L.A. Cop Calls for Legalizing Drugs, "There's Not One Metric Showing the Current Policy Works"

LA Times -- "The way former LA cop Stephen Downing sees it, the war on drugs hasn't reduced drug use and the violence that accompanies it; it's made matters worse. Law enforcement and the drug lords have been in an arms race for more than 40 years, perpetuating their own existence in a never-ending escalation that has bloated prison budgets and robbed us of funding for education and basic human services. The killing fields hold the bodies of cops, dealers and innocent victims. And still, after incalculable costs in blood and money, neither the supply nor the demand has abated.

 "We had a police officer shot in crossfire on a drug raid, and he went into a wheelchair for life, and I'm thinking, 'Wow, this guy's like this because he was trying to keep an addict from getting his heroin?' We had another cop killed in a buy-bust.... He shot him in the face. And this weighs on you, and you ask, 'What is the value of what we're doing?' "

Since then, California's prison population has exploded, gangs still control drug trade from inside and outside of prison, Mexican cartel violence has become all the more savage and law enforcement policy remains largely unchanged. Part of the reason, Downing suspects, is that law enforcers have gotten dependent on the asset seizures that are divvied up among various agencies and used to keep the whole thing humming along.

"There is not one metric that says this policy approach is working," said Downing, who believes decriminalization would lower drug prices and profits and defang criminal enterprises. He noted that the leaders of several Latin American countries have begun calling for an exploration of legalization."

2 Comments:

At 6/17/2012 8:15 PM, Blogger bart said...

My donos to NORML over the years are beginning to look good.

May I live to see most drugs legalized/decriminalized.

 
At 6/18/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger Eric H said...

"Part of the reason, Downing suspects, is that law enforcers have gotten dependent on the asset seizures that are divvied up among various agencies and used to keep the whole thing humming along."

There's that "silver lining" again...

They are addicted to their federal sugar daddy to get the military gear (like armored vehicles for the Christmas parade Downing acknowledged) and the illegal searches and seizures of cash and vehicles that provide a good slush fund. Because it's "ok" to steal from "suspected" drug dealers.

But then the barrage of TV shows (and "news") glorify this as "good police work".

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home