Wednesday, October 7, 2009

IACP president responds to LEAP op-ed

Peter Moskos has a good write up about the reaction to his Washington Post opinion piece from the both the IACP president and the Drug Czar.


  1. It's so painfully obvious who has the rhetorical and logical upper hand in these exchanges.

    One side identifies a problem a vast majority of the public recognizes, and proposes an honest set of ideas meant to ameliorate that problem. The other side expresses indignation at such a "betrayal", and then advocates more of the same broken strategy.

    The political allure of the "crackdown" is apparently quite strong.

    (Also, for what it's worth, Kerlikowske is required by law to support one side of this debate. That in itself is a legislative tragedy.)

  2. Rhayader - one part that really irked me about Laine's letter was this: "To use the deaths of these officers as call for drug legalization is repulsive."

    Personally, I think that when we're talking about saving cops' lives, all options should be on the table, including drug legalization.

    By the way, VERY interesting point about Kerlikowske being required by law to support prohibition. I never thought about that before!

  3. Barring his obvious ignorance of the different effects of different drugs by calling them all "narcotics," and the fact that people regularly and legally use narcotics (as well as other illegal drugs that are not narcotics) and overlooking his poor use of English, I too disagree with his lame logic.

    I guess the only good thing I can say is now I feel like I've heard it all. After about 1 year closely scrutinizing as many prohibitionist arguments as I can, I feel like I've not heard any new ones. I'm not an expert in being able to rattle off statistics, or name scientific studies, but it's laughable to just hear the same-old-same-old being rehashed. Claiming associative logic as cause-and-effect, ignorantly asserting that all illegal drugs have the same effect (on everyone), that somehow it's not prohibition that causes kids to deal drugs, that somehow prohibition prevents kids from being pushers to other kids, that entheogens used intelligently is wrong and they have a right to deny them to us (and worse), that undercutting black market prices and purity will not reel in addicts for help, to belittle Peter and Neil as though they are "retreating" cowards, etc…

    Personally, I think that when we're talking about saving cops' lives, all options should be on the table, including drug legalization.

    Even anyone's life! :-) Gang warfare over drug vending turf is a serious ill that not only endangers cops but other adults and innocent kids. (Although the latter may be only indirectly related to drugs, certainly there is plenty of drug-gang violence in Chicago as in every city.)

    They have what seems to be a permanent hang-up that drugs cause violence versus the holier-than-thou prohibitionist environment they work hard to maintain. Can you imagine if the lion told the mouse to not remove the thorn from it's foot because of the perceived pain of recovery or lack of adulation from having to deal with the pain of the thorn on a daily basis?

    There's probably an Aesop's fable that speaks to the situation better, but it's been a while since I've read them. :-(

  4. Yeah I agree David; to me, the truly repulsive course of action is to ignore the tragedy of a policeman's death in the name of maintaining some perceived political or moral upper hand. Is there anything more callous than that?

    And yeah, according to the ONDCP Reauthorization Act of 1998, the drug czar "shall ensure that no federal funds appropriated to the ONDCP shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in Schedule I of the CSA, and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that -- 1) is listed in Schedule I of the CSA, and 2) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the FDA."

    In other words, part of the Drug Czar's job description, as defined by Congress, is to explicitly oppose any study or debate relating to a change in legislation. Can you imagine the "energy czar" being legally required to ignore certain methods of energy production? Pure insanity.


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