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As the nation prepares for the incoming Biden-Harris administration the new president promises will be “the most progressive in history,” many drug policy practitioners wonder with trepidation what this will mean for the country’s drug crisis.

Record levels of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl, not to mention surging tonnage of cocaine and black market marijuana, are pouring across our borders at the hands of ruthless Mexican drug cartels, directly fueling ever-increasing overdose deaths and crime. So leftists’ stated objectives and record on drugs and crime should worry all Americans.

We can get a preview of the new administration’s more “nuanced” counterdrug approach by examining “The Biden Plan to End the Opioid Crisis” from the campaign. It doesn’t look promising. Long on therapeutic programs and short on reducing drug availability through border security and targeting drug trafficking organizations, it boldly declares that “Biden will tackle this crisis by making sure people have access to high quality health care.”

It also proudly calls for an incomprehensible $125 billion in additional spending to “make prevention, treatment and recovery services available to all,” which will accomplish little more than expanding the already bloated government-sponsored compassion industry. Bowing to the far left wing of the party, the Biden plan also promises to “reform the criminal justice system so that no one is incarcerated for drug use alone”—a debunked myth.

Virtually no one goes to prison for simply using drugs, especially at the federal level. According to a 2015 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only about 16 percent of our state prisoners are there for drug offenses—nearly all for distribution. Drug possession accounts for only 3.6 percent of the total. Federally, nearly all drug offenders (99.5 percent) are serving time for major trafficking.

The incessant cry from the radical left (and often the libertarian right) that “the war on drugs has failed” has lately been destructively amplified with demands to “defund,” or “abolish,” or even “f-ck the police.” Their misguided and malicious charges that U.S. law enforcement professionals are the principal perpetrators of “systemic racism” and “mass incarceration” reveal a breathtaking ignorance about what is required to maintain safety and order on the mean streets of modern America.

Such reckless slogans by the far-left wing of the Democrat Party have been matched with equally reckless action. From House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s repeated attempts to legalize marijuana at the federal level—most recently by passing the MORE Act in the House of Representatives on Dec. 4—to Oregon decriminalizing the possession of even heroin and methamphetamine at the state level, to Seattle sponsoring “safe-injection sites” for heroin users across the city, such catastrophic actions mainly serve to demonstrate how enlightened, sophisticated and caring leftist leaders are in their approach to the drug war.

Attempting to excuse or medicalize the entire drug crisis, while vilifying the police for “filling our prisons with drug users,” not only makes the problem worse, but undermines the ability of our criminal justice system to reduce the predatory behavior of individuals and organizations that seek to prey upon our fellow citizens for profit.

To argue that the drug problem should be solved therapeutically, not criminally, simply because it involves the “medical” problem of addiction, ignores the role that drug availability plays in developing and expanding new markets. Would one make the same argument in attempting to deal with the trafficking of child pornography by pursuing only treatment and prevention programs for the addicted?

Few remember that when President Nixon declared his “war against drugs” in 1971, his principal weapon in our national struggle was actually drug treatment. Recognizing the need to reduce the alarming rise of drug use in our society, Nixon increased drug treatment funding eight-fold within two years, consuming nearly two-thirds of our total federal drug control budget.

But the president—and the country—came to learn the limitations of government’s ability to affect behavior solely through therapeutic means. Without the ability to compel drug users into long-term treatment, most attempts at drug treatment failed miserably and repeatedly—an outcome that largely continues today.

Landmark research from Boston University in 2006 and detailed in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

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put the mean number of drug treatment episodes at 6.9 times over a six-and-one-half-year period. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health published findings in 2010 which revealed that more than 90 percent of opioid users tragically returned to their drug use following treatment, most within one week. That’s why they call it a “chronic, relapsing condition.”

So, too, with drug prevention. Drug policy expert Mark Kleiman from New York University has written that, although we so want to believe in its efficacy (after all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure) “the hard scientific evidence concerning drug prevention” has shown completely “underwhelming results.” He further notes, “Even the best prevention programs have only modest effects on actual behavior, and many programs have no effect at all on drug use.”

We have learned through experience that, although drug prevention and treatment programs must continue to be made available and improved upon through evidence-based practices in order to help at the margins, government’s role—not that of society-at-large, but government—can make the greatest positive impact by reducing drug availability. That is, interdicting drug shipments and arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning drug dealers.

In fact, over the long-term, given the continuing limited success of treatment and prevention programs, drug enforcement may be the most effective, and compassionate, anti-drug program available to us today.

It has been perplexing to see former senator Biden denounce the 1994 Crime Bill—one he helped draft, and that received overwhelming support from the Congressional Black Caucus and the African American community—to pander to radical, anti-law and order groups demanding the dangerously unrealistic nullification of our police.

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was a direct response to the explosion of crime and violence that accompanied the crack scourge across the country in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, one that incontrovertibly caused homicide rates in most of our cities to intolerably spike to record levels in 1993. That is, until now.

Thanks to a deadly combination of sentimental, i.e., “woke,” ideologies that excuse criminal behavior, combined with new and ever-more potent and addictive drugs flooding into our communities, homicide numbers are breaking new records across the land this year.

We didn’t treat or prevent our way out of the crack epidemic. Those programs helped, but we gained the upper hand by enforcing legitimate and reasonable state, federal, and international laws against illegal drugs.

From multilateral efforts targeting cocaine labs in South America, to enhanced Caribbean interdiction operations, right down to taking back our communities from the violent gangs and dealers who constituted the foot soldiers of the cartels, it was our collective national will to do what was necessary, however distasteful to some, to rescue our society from catastrophe. One can only hope we can muster such a will again, or the consequences will be dire.

Jeff Stamm is a 34-year law enforcement veteran who served as a deputy sheriff in Sacramento County, Calif., and a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He is also the author of “On Dope: Drug Enforcement and The First Policeman.”



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Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

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Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

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Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

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Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

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“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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