Thursday, June 08, 2006

Drug War Update: Can we define "enemy", please?

The war on drugs has plenty of "enemy combatants", such as drug-dealers, gang members, meth-addicts smashing car-windows. So why do we keep hitting the civilians so hard?

Even if I were in favor of drug criminalization, I'd be pretty angry about that sort of thing. Actually I'd be more angry, because it makes the war effort look bad.

1 comment:

Orrin Johnson said...

It sounds like the jury didn't believe him when he said he didn't know the prescriptions were forged. If he's as sympathetic as this article makes him sound, why would 12 strangers put him away for 25 years? (I guess it did take three trials, although I'm curious if juries hung or there was some other impropriety.) I wonder what the plea deal they offered him was. It sounds like it was, "Look - we don't believe that you didn't know what you were doing. A jury won't believe you, either. But you're an old guy in a wheelchair, and we want to cut you a break. Cop to the posession, and we'll fine you and give you six months suspended." That seems pretty reasonable to me, frankly. And why, if he didn't know he was buying illegal drugs, was he so forgiving of the doctor that ratted him out?

I also note there's no mention of a pending appeal.

You have me on legalizing pot. I think the FDA and its regulations are ridiculous and deadly stingy about what medicines they approve, The FDA does NOT maximize social welfare. But selling illegal prescriptions for morphine is a big deal. Knowingly buying them (indeed, SOLICITING them, as this guy seemed to do) is a big deal, too. And if the cops took everyone at their word that they weren't selling the drugs (honest!), they wouldn't get a lot accomplished.

I tend to agree with you - prosecutions in cases like this are over the top and silly, and whoever recommended 25 years or that he be tried as a dealer is out of control, and is a waste of resources better used on "combatants." Talk about a tailor made sympathetic figure! But I don't want people like this guy ignored, either. And something tells me that once you drill down a little bit, he's not quite as sympathetic as he looks in that article.