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Friday, February 29, 2008

This Week on Drugs

posted by on February 29 at 16:45 PM

The Department of Justice: An Op-Ed by the acting deputy U.S. attorney general, Craig Morford, ran in the LA Times.

A Move to Revise Offenders’ Sentences Should Stop Until Its Effects Can Be Weighed.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission recently decided to apply — retroactively — new, lighter sentences for those convicted of crimes related to crack cocaine. As a result, on Monday, courts across the country will begin to decide whether 19,500 of them should be released early from federal prison.

A disproportionate share of these prisoners came from urban areas such as Los Angeles, and those communities will bear the brunt of their return.

Morford’s tactics are taken from the Bush Administration’s playbook on this issue. You may remember that a couple weeks ago Attorney General Michael Mukasey lobbied Congress to block the release of inmates convicted of crack offenses, claiming it ďwould produce tragic, but predictable results.” The idea that releasing 19,500 crack prisoners over a period of five years, dispersed around a country of 300,000,000 people, didnít seem to convince lawmakers to block the prisoners’ release. So heís apparently assigned his minion to drum up public support, err, fear. And, in essence, what Morford is saying is that crack offenders (disproportionately black), despite having already served sentences as long as cocaine offenders (who tend to be white), are more dangerous to the community. Even if Morfordís claim were true, the fault should be pinned on his own Department of Justice for emphasizing a system that relies overwhelmingly on lengthy incarceration rather than rehabilitation.

White Planes: Cocaine smuggling craft linked to U.S.

Those Danes: Start heroin-maintenance program.

Slow Ride: Mushrooms slow perception of time.

More Hype in UK: BBC film to show effects of injecting cannabis.

London: Police single-out gay bar for drug raid.

Sydney: Police seize drugs headed to gay Mardi Gras.

Supplemented: Vitamin D is hot; vitamin E is not.

Targeted: Cartels strike border guards.

Jailed: Student who gave teacher pot cookies.

RSS icon Comments

1

Maybe that student was trying to get laid.

Posted by Mike of Renton | February 29, 2008 4:55 PM
2

The link is broken on the Marijuana Injection story.

Posted by don't break the oath | February 29, 2008 5:00 PM
3

Should be fixed now. Thanks.

Posted by Dominic Holden | February 29, 2008 5:07 PM
4

Sweet! About time we got real about busting the budget by making more and more prisons that have less and less effect ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 29, 2008 5:28 PM
5

Morford has a point. EVERYBODY KNOWS rehabilitation is a proven failure, because, if rehabilitation were effective, don't you think the Penal-Industrial Complex would have invested heavily in rehabilitation programs, thus reducing the amount of recidivism? Seriously, why would they want all those crack-heads back on the inside doing time? What possible motive could any law-abiding, God-fearing (among other things) citizen ascribe to a system that thrives and grows wealthy on a steady supply of "repeat customers"?

Besides, it's not like the penitentiaries didn't TRY to teach crack-heads how to make license plates and blue jeans. Is it the system's fault they all refused to get jobs making license plates and blue jeans once they were set free?

Posted by COMTE | February 29, 2008 7:21 PM
6

per Comte, the biggest single obstacle to drug law reform in California is the prison guard's union. They have blocked or tried to block every proposal that has come down the pike.

Not coincidentally they are also the largest union of state employees.

Posted by gnossos | February 29, 2008 9:49 PM
7

Um, who injects thc anyway?

Posted by orangekrush | March 1, 2008 9:53 AM

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