Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whose Drug War?

"Starting next year, the Harris County [DA's] office no longer will file state jail felony charges against suspects found with only a trace--less than a hundreth of a gram--of illegal drugs, [DA] Pat Lykos [PL] said Thursday. ... Not surprisinly, the pending change was hailed by defense lawyers, but criticized by police officers. ... Gary Blankinship [GB] president of the Houston Police Officers' Union [said] ... Lykos said there were several reasons to change the policy, including the inability of defense experts to re-test drug residue that is destroyed when it is analyzed. To be tested twice, there has to be more than a hundrweth of a gram, she said. ... Lykos said the move 'gives us more of an ability to focus on the violent offenses and complex offenses. When you have finite resources, you have to make decisions, and this decision is a plus all around.' ... Of more than 46,000 felony cases filed last year, almost 30 percent, 13,713, were for possession of less than a gram of drugs", my emphasis, Brian Rogers at the Houston Chronicle, 9 December 2009, link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6760384.html.

"Harris County [DA] [PL] will re-evaluate a new policy downgrading crack pipe residue charges in response to conerns raised by Houston Police Department [HPD] officials. ... 'She met with the command staff of [HPD], and everyone on the command staff urged her not to do this policy because of the burglaries that were going to increase,' said Ray Hunt, vice president of the Houston Police Officers' Union. 'This is about decreasing the caseload of the [DA's] office and decreasing the number of people in jails.' ... The minimum weight, one-hundreth of a gram, is equivalent to half a grain of rice. ... 'Addicts may become so addicted to the drug that they engage in thefts, burglaries, prostitution, and other crimes in an effort to support their habit. By arresting a suspect for a small amount of crack cocaine, HPD may be preventing that suspect from committing a burglary later, for example,' according to the [HPD] release", my emphasis, Brian Rogers at the Houston Chronicle, 10 December 2009: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6762482.html.

We might reduce the number of HPD officers and see if GB still sings this song. GB reminds me of a Big 87654 partner praising Sarbox.

Hunt, why not just tell truth: few HPD officers are capable of investigating crimes. It's summary arrest or no arrest. Why not legalize drugs to reduce crime? The drug war is revealed to be a policemen and prison guards make work program.


Anonymous said...

I used to think that legalizing drugs would increase crime... but I think just the opposite now...

The danger of legalizing drugs is that BIGPHARMA will want to take over from the drug lords and will be angling to get it covered my Medicaid and Medicare. THAT would be dangerous... and expensive.

The best thing would be for everyone to home grow or home brew their "relaxation" of choice.

Independent Accountant said...

Until 1914's Harrison Act (HA), drugs were legal in the US. Did the US have a drug problem in 1914? Why was the HA passed? Whose interests did it serve? I agree, BigPharma and Big Tobacco will take over drug distribution.