War On Drugs

Discussion in 'Political Discourse' started by Michael Scally MD, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Mayne

    Mayne Member

    Dorian is really outspoken about cherishing psychedelia iirc even mentioned it on Joe Rogan earlier on
     
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  2. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
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  3. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
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  4. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
  5. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
  6. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
  7. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine



    Last month, Mexico’s Supreme Court handed down two decisions that effectively overturned Mexico’s longstanding ban on the personal use of marijuana. The Court affirmed the power of the individual—rather than the state—to decide what to do with their own body. More importantly, it struck down a form of prohibition and brought the “war on drugs” in Mexico closer its end than ever before.

    Both of us are plaintiffs in the two cases and, for the past decade, we have worked as drug policy reform advocates who have sought to decriminalize the use of cannabis in Mexico. The Supreme Court had already chipped away at the prohibition of cannabis on three previous occasions between 2015 and 2017. Coupled with its most recent decisions, Mexico’s Supreme Court has created a new precedent, one which lower courts must apply to their rulings.

    As a result of these rulings, new criteria must be used by every judge across Mexico for cases concerning drug possession or use. This is no small thing; as recently as 2014, the Attorney General’s Office initiated almost 5,000 preliminary inquiries into “consumption”—and another 4,000 for “possession”—of marijuana, even though these activities are not punishable by law. This change may help reduce mass incarceration in Mexico.

    Meanwhile, a newly-elected Congress must face a basic question: What is the appropriate policy model to legally regulate drugs in Mexico?
     
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  8. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
  9. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine



    According to the article, the police were searching for a misdemeanor or low-level felony amount of drugs. They didn’t even find that. They found no contraband at all. The hospital then sent the man a bill for just over $4,500.

    The paper also reports that no one involved is talking about the case. That includes the judge who signed off on the warrant, Syracuse City Court Judge Rory McMahon, who said he could’t talk because the case is “sealed.” Seems a bit late to start worrying about privacy.

    ...

    Even if the police had found drugs in any of these cases, we should then ask . . . at what cost? Even if you believe some drugs ought to be illegal, and that the police should be given broad powers to enforce those laws, you simply can’t fit a very large quantity of drugs into a bodily orifice. So even if the search pays off, it makes only a small dent in the drug supply. Police resort to cavity searches only when they’re particularly motivated to nab the person in their custody. They want a conviction. At that point, it’s far less about public safety than about anger at or disgust with a particular suspect. (That anger tends to cloud sensory perception and rational thought may explain why so many so many of these searches tend to be fruitless.)

    Of course, the police could just wait for the suspect to defecate. But that would require patience. And it removes the ability to humiliate and dehumanize the suspect. It also requires enough probable cause to detain the suspect until that happens.

    Here’s a thought: The amount of illicit drugs a person could conceivably hide in an anal or vaginal cavity isn’t remotely proportionate to the magnitude of the violation required to retrieve them. That’s true even if everyone searched this way were guilty. But we also know that this isn’t the case. Not to mention that the system is supposed to treat everyone as if they were innocent.
     
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  10. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
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  11. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

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  12. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine



    In May 2017, Philadelphia Narcotics Bureau supervisors Inspector Raymond Evers and Chief Inspector Anthony Boyle called staff into a police conference room in Germantown for a mandatory meeting. Evers would later describe it as a “pep talk” to "get better-quality investigations.”

    But what he outlined, according to a 177-page August 2018 Internal Affairs report obtained by the Inquirer, was a scheme to flip low-level suspects into off-the-books confidential informants through a process that would evolve into falsifying paperwork, as well as hiding information from the District Attorney’s Office.

    Some officers at the meeting described the system that Evers outlined — and that he, in at least three cases, personally oversaw — as illegal and a violation of police directives, according to the report. It sustained allegations Evers abused his authority, failed to supervise subordinates, and then lied during the course of the investigation about it. Internal Affairs also sustained charges against Boyle for failure to supervise, and against two officers for false paperwork.

    The Police Board of Inquiry, the department panel that ultimately determines guilt and administers discipline, has not yet held a hearing.
     
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  13. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
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  14. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine









     
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  15. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine

     
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  16. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine



    Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, one of the most progressive district attorneys in the country, told "Axios on HBO" that he is "very close" to implementing a policy that would relax the penalties for drug possession laws.

    Why it matters: This would be a first-of-its-kind policy in the U.S. If it leads to more cities adopting similar policies addressing drug possession offenses with treatment instead of incarceration, it could fundamentally change the nation's approach to addiction and the war on drugs.
    • "Possession is different than dealing," Krasner said in an interview for an upcoming episode of "Axios on HBO." "We are talking about people who are using drugs. The vast majority of them suffering from addiction. I do not see value in convicting people like that."
    How it would work: The Philadelphia policy has not been finalized, and there is no timeline for rollout yet. The plan is for it to be a diversion system, which means anyone arrested or charged for having small amounts of illicit substances would not face incarceration or having a criminal record.
    • Instead, they may have to attend a treatment program or potentially participate in community service, according to Krasner's office.
    • As district attorney, Krasner has the power to decide when to charge someone with a crime, to determine the severity of the charges and suggest prison terms.
    • His policy would not shield offenders from federal law enforcement agents, such as those from the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Widney Brown, managing director of policy at Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for decriminalization in the U.S. And the policy could be done away with if a new district attorney is elected in a few years.
    Between the lines: Krasner said the criminalization of drug possession makes it harder for people to get educational loans, buy homes and get a job. In Pennsylvania, a first time offense of possession of small amounts of heroin or cocaine can result in a year behind bars and/or thousands of dollars worth of fines.

    ...

    Around the world:
    • In 2001, Portugal became the first European nation to decriminalize all drug possession. Since then, the nation has seen the rate of overdose deaths and cases of HIV or AIDS among drug users plummet, according to a report by the Drug Policy Alliance. The incarceration rate for drug crimes also fell significantly.
    • Earlier this year, the UN chief executives board, which represents 31 UN agencies, endorsed the decriminalization of drug possession.
    The bottom line: Philadelphia could become the trailblazer for the next steps in decriminalizing drug use — and we'll learn whether it solves problems or leads to new ones.
     
  17. ergomaniac

    ergomaniac Member

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  18. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine



    Late last year, prosecutors in King County, which encompasses Seattle, and neighboring Snohomish County became the first in the nation to stop charging people for possessing small amounts of drugs — heroin, meth and crack included — in virtually all cases.

    Many people who once would have been locked up are now immediately offered help. It is a profound shift that builds on efforts launched here in recent years to divert low-level drug offenders into treatment and other programs to assist with recovery.

    The approach, which is being considered elsewhere, amounts to a bold experiment during a historic drug epidemic: Can a major American city beat drug abuse by treating it as a public health crisis rather than a crime?

    Seattle’s new model has been hailed by criminal justice reformers as a humane alternative to the punitive drug policies of the ’80s and ’90s they blame for exploding prison populations, devastating minority communities and doing little to curb drug abuse.
     
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  19. Michael Scally MD

    Michael Scally MD Doctor of Medicine




    Philadelphia, where another 1,100 people died of an overdose in 2018, is slowly navigating toward opening a supervised injection site, a move that has prompted a debate among harm reduction advocates and law-and-order types about the best way to address the overdose crisis.

    Safehouse, a nonprofit, has been incorporated with the sole purpose of opening a site. Quickly after incorporating, the U.S. attorney sued Safehouse, arguing that the site is illegal, in an attempt to prevent them from opening. The suit is currently in court, but Safehouse has made progress, recently announcing a location.

    While Philadelphia’s alarming overdose rate adds urgency to this initiative, the city doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are already about 120 supervised injection sites around the globe.

    The Inquirer wanted to hear from people on the ground who made some of these sites a reality (or are trying to do so) with the hope that as Philadelphia moves forward, those involved can learn from the hard work of people who have already been through the process. Here are my takeaways from these discussions, followed by a deeper reflection from the people doing the work to launch and operate these sites.
     
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