US to end incarceration of drug offenders

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by RealGatorFan, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. RealGatorFan
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    RealGatorFan Premium Member

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    Eric Holder spoke at an engagement and his topic was ending incarceration of drug offenders. He brought up interesting points like an 8-fold increase in prison population since 1970 and that the highest number of inmates are drug offenders. Officially said the War on Drugs has failed and that spending $1 Trillion on it was a waste of money.

    So I wonder, what would happen to someone who dealt drugs or was found with 100 lbs of cocaine? Is this a ploy to legalize drugs?
  2. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    We'd need the quotes for context, but I doubt very strongly he was referring to large-scale distributors.
  3. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    No. But drugs should be legalized or at a minimum decriminalized. The ploy has been that the drug war was about getting drug kingpins. Well that didn't do anything to stanch the tide of illegal drugs coming into the country or people's personal drug use.

    But what it did was lead to long sentences of incarceration for low level dealers and users and petty criminals, and it has, as so much in criminal justice, disproportionately affected the poor, particularly poor minorities and clogged up our court dockets with crimes that just waste the courts time while costing us hundreds of millions of dollars to keep them incarcerated.
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  4. RealGatorFan
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    RealGatorFan Premium Member

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    What is considered large-scale? A don't have the quote but you can find the video at CNN. Low-level drug dealers and users is what he is referring to but we all know once you go down that road, you eventually get to the high-level stuff. That also means dealing to underage kids won't be considered high-level?
  5. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    The problem is we don't necessarily get to the high level offenders and the amount of money we spend on investigations, intervention and punishment should give everyone pause. We spend anywhere from 22-34k a year per prisoner. This doesn't include the money spent in drug task forces that wind up netting only a few offenders. Not to mention there is a seedier side to it with asset forfeitures which makes drug enforcement more about trying to haul in money to further feed the machine rather than actually seeking some form of justice.

    You rob or kill someone, sure, you deserve punishment. You buy an eight-ball of coke to party all night, I don't think so. This isn't to say people really should be doing drugs or that we should be encouraging folks to do them, as they aren't very good for you, but we shouldn't be imprisoning folks as we don't go imprisoning cig smokers and drinkers for simply smoking and drinking.
  6. gatordee
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    gatordee Well-Known Member

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    this
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  7. GatorFanCF
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    My gut tells me we should make it all legal and tax it - just like alcohol, tobacco, sugary drinks, and salt, the 4 horses of the "porkupulous."

    Separately, and not to hijack current thread, it seems to me as there is an analogy between how we legislate, convict and deal with low volume drug users and how we legislate, regulate and fine independent business owners. The sad truth is that the BIG BOYS have protection, whether that be bigger guns or better attorneys, so they can create all sorts of hell and then enjoy relative sanctuary in their compounds and in their boardrooms. The old saw of being in trouble if you owe the bank $1,000 but the bank being in trouble if you owe them $1,000,000 seems to ring true across multiple disciplines.
  8. brainstorm
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    brainstorm VIP Member

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    I agree with Holder (I feel slimy but I digress) and the rest of you who think we have wasted massive amounts of money incarcerating drug users. I DO think we should continue to go after "providers" until such time (if it ever occurs) that all drugs are made legal. Which would allow corporations to get involved and the government to tax it. Which would put the black market (and criminal activity) out of business.
  9. fastsix
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    fastsix Well-Known Member

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    Seattle Police Department handed these out at Hempfest this weekend.

    [​IMG]

    Hempfest is a essentially an open air marijuana festival held in Seattle. That line about not using it in public...that's just lip service at Hempfest. The cops don't care about pot smoking at Hempfest and they haven't for years.

    I think it's just about over and the city is still standing, just as it has after every hempfest since 1991. Of course this is the first year that marijuana was legal under state law, so the hippies, juggalos, and stoners probably turned the smoking up to 11, but as far as I know nobody died, no major riots occurred, and droves of people were not arrested for being filthy, dangerous drug users. It's almost as if it was just an alternative version of something like Octoberfest.
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  10. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Well done! :smoke:
  11. dadx4
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    dadx4 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't they run out of Doritos in the first hour or something like that?
  12. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    I think that's a stretch. Liquor is legal, but selling to minors will still get you thrown in jail.
  13. dadx4
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    dadx4 Well-Known Member

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    I think this is what he was referring to.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/the-sweeping-presidential-power-to-help-prisoners-that-holder-didnt-mention

    I have said on a couple of occasions legalize everything and tax it as well and maybe it could help in paying off the national debt (we all know that will never happen though because our government doesn't understand that concept).

    I do understand what he's saying but is this really the motive here because as well all know he has referred before as to "my people."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5P-aEU8EdI

    Then you have the prison population in the US that is made up like this.

    http://www.articlemyriad.com/race-prison-population-disparities-african-american/

    As this analysis of race and the prison population in the context of the wider body of important social research will discuss, not only are American prisons among the most populated in the world, they are disproportionately populated by minorities. This is certainly not an accident and, as it will be argued in more detail, is absolutely not because African American are more predisposed to crime.
  14. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say there, dad.
  15. fastsix
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    fastsix Well-Known Member

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    Probably quicker than that. They only handed out 1000 bags and Hempfest draws 80,000+ people per day. It was mostly a PR stunt - SPD doesn't have the best reputation.
  16. OaktownGator
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    Rep worthy.

    I really hope there is progress on decriminalization. The war on drugs is one of the worst activities our govt engages in against its citizens. The fact that it specifically is implemented as an attack on low income minorities, makes it that much more heinous.

    End it.
  17. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Well it is his people in a sense but he's got "justice" and reason on his side on this issue.

    You are spot on about prison populations. Speaking of which, this Pew Report is a must read. It really drives home the issue about just how lopsided our prison population is (some have called the the New Jim Crow).

    From the Pew Report; these are some striking numbers, particularly the race/ethnic disproportions

    Imprisonment

    MEN
    White men ages 18 or older 1 in 106
    All men ages 18 or older 1 in 54
    Hispanic men ages 18 or older 1 in 36
    Black men ages 18 or older 1 in 15
    Black men ages 20-34 1 in 9

    WOMEN
    White women ages 35-39 1 in 355
    Hispanic women ages 35-39 1 in 297
    All women ages 35-39 1 in 265
    Black women ages 35-39 1 in 100
  18. MichiGator2002
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    MichiGator2002 VIP Member

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    The right way to deal with mandatory sentencing is through the legislature. He is stretching the notion of prosecutorial discretion to absurdity when he is telling US attorneys to just... leave out facts and details that would land within a minimum sentencing statute. Candor with the tribunal? I could envision scenarios that create some MRPC issues for attorneys under this proposed policy.
  19. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, good post jdr. We should have a legal system that reflects the values and morals of our current citizenship. Today, most of us simply don't see smoking some weed as an offense that deserves this type of punishment. If the US insists on keeping marijuana illegal (which it will likely for at least a few years), just charge a small fine and be on with it.
  20. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Which drugs? Steroids, HGH, pot?

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