by Peter Freyne
Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on WCAX-TV, Ch. 3, Windsor County's veteran State's Attorney Bobby Sand [right] occupies the guest chair on You Can Quote Me.
Even law enforcement types who don't agree with Sand the Prosecutor about taking a "harm-reduction," rather than "lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key" approach, to "illegal" drugs, privately admire his courage.
Hey, did you know that, "The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners, incarcerating more than 2.3 million citizens in its prisons and jails, at a rate of one in every 136 U.S. residents—the highest rate of incarceration in the world?"
Did you realize that "55% of all federal and over 20% of all state prisoners are convicted of drug law violations, many serving mandatory minimum sentences for simple possession offenses."
Or how about the fact that "federal, state, and local costs of the war on drugs exceed $40 billion annually , yet drugs are still widely available in every community, drug use and demand have not decreased, and most drug prices have fallen while purity levels have increased dramatically?"
Yep. Get past the government propaganda and one is faced with the fact that the Ol' "War on Drugs" is about as effective as the Ol' "War on Terror."
The truth hurts.
And maybe you knew, but I honestly had no idea that "cities across the country have experienced a rise in violent crime and must prioritize scarce law enforcement resources, yet the nation’s police arrested a record 786,545 individuals on marijuana related charges in 2005—almost 90% for simple possession alone—far exceeding the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined!"
Let's see, the current official estimated population of the State of Vermont - every man, woman and child - is 623,908.
That's 162,637 more pot arrests in America than there are human beings in the Green Mountain State! Sad but true. Great use of our police resources and tax dollars, eh?
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the above is from the resolution adopted at last week's 75th Annual Meeting of the USCM in Los Angeles. Check column-right under "Adopted Resolutions" for a complete copy. [Go to pages 47-50.] America's mayors have had it. They officially want to see "A New Bottom Line In Reducing the Harms of Substance Abuse."
Change is in the air, eh?