Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Policeman, the Politician, and the Drug War

On another blog, reporting from New Hampshire, John McCain was selling the same bromides that have been failing for almost forty years. Of course politicians who have shoveled truckloads of taxpayer money at Wars on Drugs and No Child Left Behind insist that success is just a few more dumpsters of money away.

They'll insist it's our fault - parents not supporting their kids, Americans not supporting troops, and so on - the endless loop of blame the little guy rhetoric. But in New Hampshire, someone changed the tune:

What Officer Jarvis said was this:
Jardis: I don't think that if someone gets caught with methamphetamine, we should be putting them in prison, period. We should be helping them. We should help people who are addicted to drugs, not spend $69 billion a year to put people in jail. If you arrest somebody, it does not solve the problem. You just said that there are drug cartels. There would not be drug cartels if we were to regulate drugs. In Switzerland they have public heroin clinics where people can go and get help with clean needles to come off drugs There's no doubt that drugs are dangerous, but our policy does not do anything to help people who are addicted. If you arrest a 16-year-old for possession of marijuana, and they get a criminal conviction, you can get over an addiction but you can never get over a conviction. They lose their funding to go to college, and no one could ever say that keeping a kid from going to college accomplishes something good. Not at all.
In Connecticut specifically, we are arresting and imprisoning more juveniles than ever before, destroying their lives, and creating an expensive and unproductive human warehouse of misery.

When's it going to stop?

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