War on Drugs
(REASON TV) In October of 2012, Timothy Young was pulled over for failing to use his turn signal in Lordsburg, New Mexico. When Hidalgo County deputies saw that Young’s companion had an open container, they asked to search the truck. Young consented.
The search dragged on for more than two hours. Deputies eventually called in a K9 unit and claimed that the dog, Leo, alerted on the driver’s seat. While deputies sought a warrant for a more extensive search, deputy Patrick Green continued to interrogate Young, at one point asking him, “Do you have it up your ass?”
After the deputies obtained a search warrant, they handcuffed Young and drove him an hour away to the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, New Mexico. Young was x-rayed and digitally probed without his consent. No contraband was found. A few weeks later, the hospital sent Young a bill for services rendered.
Young sued all parties involved. So far he has received a judgment of $925,000 from Hidalgo County.
(William Norman Grigg) Jerad and Amanda Miller, who were banished from Bunkerville by supporters of Cliven Bundy, had worked as informants for Nevada law enforcement agencies. After the Millers murdered three people — Las Vegas Metro Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, and Joseph Wilcox, an armed citizen who heroically tried to stop their rampage — their former handlers claimed that they were unaware of the couple’s “anti-police sentiments.” That claim is difficult to credit, given that Jerad Miller had a lengthy criminal record, and the fact that the couple had made itself very prominent in protests associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Jerad Miller, who was mired in the probation system because of narcotics convictions, was precisely the kind of person whose vulnerabilities make him valuable as an informant and provocateur.
The Millers were among many hundreds of people who traveled to Bunkerville, Nevada to support rancher Cliven Bundy in his confrontation with the BLM. They may well have been the only volunteers who were asked to leave because of concerns regarding what was described as their “aggressive nature and volatility.” During their brief visit, however, Jerad was interviewed by the local NBC affiliate, which meant that he was depicted as representative of the people who had rallied to the Bundy family’s cause.
Predictably, following the couple’s subsequent killing spree critics of Cliven Bundy claimed that the rancher, his supporters, and the entire “insurrectionist right” shared collective responsibility for that crime. Honest people who aren’t imprisoned in collectivist ideology would recognize that rather than being radicalized by so-called anti-government extremists, Jerad Miller is more properly seen as a living example of “blowback” in the government’s war on drugs.
(FEDERALJACK) Michael Edwards received a life sentence in 1994 after his third drug offense. That’s more time than some murders, rapists and violent criminals get.
(BUSINESS INSIDER) An investigation by El Universal found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels.
Sinaloa, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, supplies 80% of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.
But the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official.
(UPWORTHY) Retired police Capt. Peter Christ is about to make more sense about the War on Drugs than anyone you’ve ever heard in the past. His basic premise is that we need to legalize drugs, but if you’re skeptical, just give him a few minutes to convince you. Highlights include a very honest answer to a commonly asked drug question at 0:54, the easiest question to answer about the War on Drugs at 4:48, the complete destruction of the biggest argument anti-drug advocates use at 7:23, using the Bible to prove the ineffectiveness of prohibition at 13:55, and a rapid-fire debunking of several myths all in one breath at 14:20. If you have to leave right now, just skip to 5:58 for the thesis statement in a single sentence.
(Daniel Hopsicker) It was the biggest drug seizure on an airplane in Mexican history. It led directly to the forced sale of Wachovia, then America’s 4th largest bank. And it threatened to become America’s most notorious drug scandal since Iran Contra. Yet when a leader of the drug smuggling organization responsible for the flight of the DC-9 airliner dubbed “Cocaine One” that was busted in the Yucatan carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine quietly pled guilty to unrelated drug charges two years ago in a Federal Court in Miami, his role in the massive drug move was kept secret from officials preparing his Pre-Sentence Report (PSI), from journalists, and even from the Federal judge in the case.
(SF WEEKLY) When narcotics officers appeared at a Castro home shortly after 7 a.m. on Jan. 11, they had permission from a judge to search for “proceeds” from an illegal marijuana grow. The SFPD and DEA found no piles of marijuana money at 243 Diamond St., one of six addresses raided simultaneously in San Francisco that morning. Instead, they foundClark Freshman, who rents the penthouse at the two-unit building. Freshman, a UC Hastings law professor and the main consultant to the television show Lie to Me, was put into handcuffs while in his bathrobe as agents searched, despite Freshman’s insistence that they had the wrong place and were breaking the law. “I told them to call the judge and get their warrant updated,” he says. “They just laughed at me — I guess that’s why they’re called pigs.” Soon they may be called defendants in a lawsuit. A furious Freshman has pledged to sue the DEA and the SFPD for unlawful search and seizure of his home.
Later Thursday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Department released a statement on the killing.
“When deputies approached a rear bedroom at the location, they encountered an 80-year-old male who was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The suspect pointed the handgun at the deputies and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” the statement read.
Deputies recovered the gun, marijuana, and growing equipment at the home where the man was shot. Residents who lived in other units on the property were detained, but later released.
The shooting will be investigated separately by several agencies, including the offices of the Los Angeles County District Attorney and Coroner, and the Sheriff’s Homicide and Internal Affairs bureaus.
(LA WEEKLY) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration played The Grinch when it raided a Hollywood dispensary popular with celebs in the days before Christmas, its owner, NJ Weedman, tells LA Weekly.
The DEA cleared the place out, seized marijuana, drained his bank accounts and shuttered his South L.A. grow operation, says the man also known as Ed Forchion.
We tried to get a comment from the DEA but were unsuccessful. Weedman says it all went down ….
… Dec. 13 at 11 a.m., when he was pulled over by the LAPD and the DEA was there to help.
He says he was taken to his Liberty Bell Temple II pot shop in Hollywood in cuffs as agents raided the place and seized everything in sight.
(FORBES) Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.
Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalize drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.
“There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.
The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.
Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.
“This development can not only be attributed to decriminalization but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies.”
Many of these innovative treatment procedures would not have emerged if addicts had continued to be arrested and locked up rather than treated by medical experts and psychologists. Currently 40,000 people in Portugal are being treated for drug abuse. This is a far cheaper, far more humane way to tackle the problem. Rather than locking up 100,000 criminals, the Portuguese are working to cure 40,000 patients and fine-tuning a whole new canon of drug treatment knowledge at the same time.
None of this is possible when waging a war.