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Statements on Drug Policy
Recent Comments on the War on Drugs
Extracts from a variety of recent books and publications regarding the war on drugs.
Abram, K. M. & Teplin, L. A. (1991 October). Co-occurring disorders among mentally
ill jail detainees: Implications for public policy. American Psychologist, 46
- "...jails contain disproportionate numbers of severely mentally ill persons with
codisorders" (Abram & Teplin, 1991, p. 1036).
- "Jails, unlike many treatment facilities, have no requirements or restrictions for
entry" (Abram & Teplin, 1991, p. 1042).
- "Despite the criminal justice system's legal mandate to provide mental health
treatment (Bowring v. Godwin, 1977; Estelle v. Gamble, 1976; Jones v.
Wittenberg, 1971), few mentally ill detainees are detected or diverted to mental
health or substance abuse facilities" (Abram & Teplin, 1991, p. 1043).
SAGE Criminal Justice System Annuals. "...focus on and
develop topics and themes that are important to the study of criminal justice. Each edited
volume combines multiple perspectives to provide an interdisciplinary approach that is
useful to students, researchers, and policymakers."
DRUG TREATMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE - (Sage
criminal justice system annuals; v.27) - James A. Inciardi, Editor - Sage Publications
(1993); Newbury Park, California.
Inciardi, J. A. (1993). Introduction: A response to the war on drugs. In J. A. Inciardi
(Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 1-4). Newbury Park: Sage
- "The American crack experience is fairly well known, having been reported, and
perhaps overreported, in the media since early 1986" (Inciardi, 1993, p. 1).
- "As asset forfeiture provisions, RICO [Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations] and CCE [Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute] mandate forfeiture of the
fruits of criminal activities" (Inciardi, 1993, p. 1).
- "At state and local levels, zero tolerance gave birth to the many 'user
accountability' statutes. User accountability was based on the notion that if there were
no drug users there would be no drug problems and that casual users of drugs, like
addicts, were responsible for creating the demand that made trafficking in drugs a
lucrative criminal enterprise. As such, the new laws called for mandatory penalties for
those found in possession of small quantities of drugs (Inciardi, 1993, p. 2).
Wellisch, J., Anglin, M. D., & Prendergast, M. L. (1993). Treatment strategies for
drug-abusing women offenders. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal
justice (pp. 5-29). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "The Federal Corrections Institute in Lexington, Atwood Hall Drug Abuse Program
[AHDAP] is a traditional 12-step program in which drug abuse is viewed as a disease that
leads to physical deterioration, emotional instability, and spiritual bankruptcy"
(Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 11).
- Some of the requirements for admission to this program (AHDAP) are "...no serious
medical, psychiatric, or psychological problems; and no violent institutional infractions
within the last 12 months" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 11).
- Re: enrollment in treatment programs while incarcerated--"Most authorities agree
that too early enrollment may erode the gains made in treatment because the prisoners will
remain in an environment--the prison--that is conductive to relapse" (Wellisch,
Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 21).
- "Drug abuse treatment requires individuation and a degree of flexibility that is
not consonant with most prison operations" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast,
1993, p. 21).
- "Because dependence on drugs is a chronically relapsing condition, in most cases
several cycles of treatment, aftercare, and relapse will occur" (Wellisch, Anglin,
& Prendergast, 1993, p. 22).
- "...since a large percentage of incarcerated women have been subjected to physical
and sexual abuse, they require counseling and psychological support in addition to general
health care" (Wellisch, Anglin, & Prendergast, 1993, p. 24).
Pan, H., Scarpitti, F. R., Inciardi, J. A., & Lockwood, D. (1993). Some
considerations on therapeutic communities in corrections. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug
treatment and criminal justice (pp. 30-43). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "There are many phenomena in the prison environment that make rehabilitation
difficult" (Pan, Scarpitti, Inciardi, & Lockwood, 1993, p. 34).
- "Finally, there is the prison subculture--a system of norms and values that tend to
militate against rehabilitation" (Pan et al., 1993, p. 34).
Peters, R. H. (1993). Drug treatment in jails and detention settings. In J. A. Inciardi
(Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 44-80). Newbury Park: Sage
- "Federal, state, and local responses to the drug epidemic have focused on reducing
the supply of drugs through enhanced law enforcement efforts, minimum mandatory sentences
for drug offenses, and unprecedented construction of new jails and prisons. Efforts aimed
at drug suppliers and users have not succeeded in reducing the availability of drugs in
most communities (Peters, 1993, p. 45).
- "The role of jails has expanded in the past 20 years to address the needs of
special inmate populations, including substance abusers, the mentally ill, and individuals
with educational and vocational deficits. These changes have been affected in part by the
recognition that jails frequently serve as the repository for socially disadvantaged
populations (e.g., mentally ill, substance abusers, the homeless) that move somewhat
fluidly from one community institution to another" (Peters, 1993, p. 46).
- "Survey findings indicate that a small fraction of jail inmates in need of
substance abuse treatment were receiving services (Peters, 1993, p.49).
- "The CD [Chemical Dependency] approach views the development of addictive disorders
as a product of physiological, psychological, and social factors. Inmates are taught that
drug dependence is a lifetime disorder. During periods of abstinence, the 'disease' is in
remission, but the individual must always be concerned with reoccurrence of symptoms"
(Peters, 1993, p. 50).
- "...narcotic agonists such as methadone, which replace the physiological need for
opiates,...have been found to be useful in the treatment of offenders who are addicted to
opiates" (Peters, 1993, p. 52).
- "Methadone treatments have been researched extensively and have been shown to be
effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings" (Peters, 1993, p. 52).
- "Use of this approach [methadone] is usually reserved for individuals who have not
been able to achieve abstinence in drug-free programs. Use of methadone is governed by
federal regulations that require narcotic dependency for at least 1 year prior to the
onset of treatment and previous involvement in treatment. Other federal guidelines require
drug testing, counseling, and development of individualized treatment plans (Office of
Technology Assessment, 1990). Several states have also adopted regulations governing
dosage levels and quality assurance monitoring" (Peters, 1993, (p. 52).
- "Methadone has been used infrequently in jail settings, because, in part, of a
reluctance by administrators to provide narcotics to inmates and related issues of medical
supervision and concerns of compromising institutional security" (Peters, 1993, p.
Martin, S. S. & Inciardi, J. A. (1993). Case management approaches for criminal
justice clients. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp.
81-96). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "As case studies have repeatedly pointed out, such stressful life events as divorce
or loss of employment can play a critical role in precipitating a relapse to drug
use" (Martin & Inciardi, 1993, p. 82).
Dembo, R., Williams, L., & Schmeidler, J. (1993). Addressing the problems of
substance abuse in juvenile corrections. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and
criminal justice (pp. 97-126). Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "Research has repeatedly found that criminal behavior increases following
addiction, and that arrests for drug offenses and property offenses decline with
decreasing frequency of drug use" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 113).
- "Methadone maintained clients have better outcomes in terms of illicit drug use and
other criminal behavior than when not treated or detoxified and released or when methadone
is tapered down and terminated. Clients who stay in treatment longer have better outcomes
than clients with shorter treatment courses" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler,
1993, p. 116).
- "It is counterproductive to treat youths in residential settings, only to return
them unassisted to environments that supported their problem behavior in the past"
(Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 119).
- "In treating a person for dysfunctional drug use, it is important to appreciate
that altering a drug-dependent existence is often a prolonged process involving periodic
relapses to drug use" (Dembo, Williams, & Schmeidler, 1993, p. 121).
Swartz, J. (1993). TASC--The next 20 years: Extending, refining, and assessing the
model. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), Drug treatment and criminal justice (pp. 127-148).
Newbury Park: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "Addicts who are fortunate enough to have been well educated, have steady incomes,
and good social support and thus do not need to turn to crime to support their addictions,
often experience...problems with relapse. The fact that many [Treatment Alternative to
Street Crimes] TASC clients more often than not have additional burdens and problems to
overcome makes relapse even more understandable in their circumstances" (Swartz,
1993, p. 135).
THE WAR ON DRUGS: HEROIN, COCAINE, CRIME, AND PUBLIC POLICY
Inciardi, J. A. (1986). The war on drugs: Heroin, cocaine, crime, and public policy.
Palo Alto: Mayfield Publishing Company.
- The Atlanta Georgian, 27 February 1935, ran a poem named 'The Jaws of Death' by
George E. Phair: "A slinking thing with hellish sting, The reptile known as Dope.
Its poison breath is living death Beyond the pale of hope,
And in the blight of endless night Its countless victims grope.
In stricken homes the reptile roams On hearthstones bare and bleak.
Ambition dies in youthful eyes, Slain by the noxious reek.
For Dope is strong and prospers long Because the laws are weak" (Inciardi, 1986,
- "...Anslinger's crusade appears to have been the ravings of a madman. Using the
mass media as his forum, Anslinger described marijuana as a Frankenstein drug that was
stalking American youth" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
- In a magazine, he wrote: "The sprawled body of a young girl lay crushed on the
sidewalk the other day after a plunge from the fifth story of a Chicago apartment house.
Everyone called it suicide, but actually it was murder. The killer was a narcotic known to
America as marijuana, and to history as hashish. It is a narcotic used in the form of
cigarettes, comparatively new to the United States and as dangerous as a coiled
rattlesnake...(Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
- The same magazine, American Magazine, ran this from Anslinger: "An entire
family was murdered by a youthful addict in Florida. When officers arrived at the home,
they found the youth staggering about in a human slaughterhouse. With an ax he had killed
his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister. He seemed to be in a daze....He had no
recollection of having committed the multiple crime. The officers knew him ordinarily
as a sane, rather quiet young man; now he was pitifully crazed. They sought the
reason. The boy said that he had been in the habit of smoking something which youthful
friends called "muggles," a childish name for marihuana [sic]" (Inciardi,
1986, p. 22).
- "Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with female students (white),
smoking (marijuana) and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result
pregnancy. Two Negroes took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the
influence of marihuana [sic]. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from
syphilis" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 22).
- "During the early decades of the twentieth century, commentaries about cocaine took
on racial overtones, precipitated by white fears of the blacks' sexual and criminal
impulses. In 1910, for example, testimony before a committee of the House of
Representatives referenced these fears and also included almost every white stereotype of
blacks: The colored people seem to have a weakness for it [cocaine]. It is a very
seductive drug, and it produces extreme exhilaration. Persons under the influences on it
believe they are millionaires. They have an exaggerated ego. They imagine they can lift
this building, if they want to, or can do anything they want to. They have no regard for
right or wrong. It produces a kind of temporary insanity. They would just as leave rape a
woman as anything else and a great many of the southern rape cases have been traced to
cocaine" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 72).
- "Indeed, heroin is a powerful narcotic. Several times more potent than morphine, it
suppresses both respiratory and cardiovascular activity, has strong analgesic effects and
a high-addiction potential. At overdose levels, heroin can produce coma, shock, and
ultimately, respiratory arrest and death" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 52).
- "As the result of Anslinger's crusade, on August 2, 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was
signed into law, classifying the scraggly tramp of the vegetable world as a narcotic and
placing it under essentially the same controls as the Harrison Act had done with opium and
coca products" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 23).
- Inciardi (1986, p. 204) criticizes psychiatrist Thomas Szasz's point that "...the
drug problem in America was created in great part by the very policies designed to control
it" by saying that in Szasz's book there were "numerous errors of fact combined
with his caustic abuse of the English language." Likewise, Inciardi (1986, p. 204)
does not agree with Washington attorney Rufus King who takes a similar view and has
described American drug-control policies as "a 50-year folly, a misguided and
ineffective endeavor." make footnote: 50-year folly--Rufus King, The
Drug Hang-Up: America's Fifty-Year Folly (New York: W. W. Norton, 1972). Again
disagreeing, Inciardi (1986, p.204) quotes Alfred R. Lindesmith from an article in The
For 40 years the United States has tried in vain to control the problem of drug
addiction by prohibition and police suppression. The disastrous consequences of turning
over to the police what is an essentially medical problem are steadily becoming more
apparent as narcotic arrests rise each year to new records and the habit continues to
spread, especially among young persons. Control by prohibition has failed; but the
proposed remedies for this failure consist mainly of more of the same measures which have
already proved futile.
Inciardi (1986, pp.204-206) lumps these social scientists together and dismisses them
as "armchair crusaders who had little direct contact with life in the street worlds
of heroin, cocaine, and crime [who]....suggest that federal drug policies are simply an
outgrowth of the government's practiced benign stupidity."
- In contrast with those views, Inciardi (1986, pp.204-205) defines and disagrees with the
Marxist perspective of Criminologists D. Stanley Eitzen and Doug A. Timmer "that the
American approach is deliberately structured to fail because the political economy of the
United States needs the private accumulation of capital and profit that drug trafficking
provides. For that reason, they state, the drug trades are not only tolerated, but
condoned as well." Criminologists Eitzen and Timmer are dismissed by Inciardi (1986,
p. 205) because he believes they "read far too much into an erroneously documented
statement" by William J. Chambliss in On the Take:
...the heroin traffic from Southeast Asia, especially from the Golden Triangle of
northern Thailand, Burma, and Laos, expanded production as a new source of heroin for the
incredibly lucrative American market....It is not known whether this new heroin source was
linked to Republican politicians, but the fact that the CIA and the South Vietnamese
governments under general Ky and Thieu actively aided the development of this heroin
source suggests that such a link is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Inciardi (1986, p. 205) scoffs at the translation of "this into the 'private
accumulation of capital and profit'" argument but does accept the conclusion of
Alfred W. McCoy in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia "that the heroin
trade in Southeast Asia grew to some extent with the complicity of the U.S. government
representatives in that part of the world...[due to] American anticommunist zeal."
- Ask Dr. Brown about the Iran-Contra coverup movie we saw about Oliver North, Reagan,
etc. Doesn't that give more credence to the Marxist perspective of Eitzen and Timmer?
- It is absolutely amazing to me how many of our rights we are willing to give up in the
off chance that we can put a dent in the drug problem. "Ignorant men don't know what
good they hold in their hands until they've flung it away" (Sophocles).
- "Dr. William Pollin, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse:...If
there were no law enforcement, then the number of cocaine users would be up there in the
same numbers with smokers and drinkers" (Inciardi, 1986, p. 211). Pray tell, how does
he know? It is inconceivable that those who demand scientific studies and well-documented
evidence insist on using these off-the-wall quotes regarding something that no one knows
for certain is going to happen.
DRUGS AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Volume II. Sage Criminal
Justice System Annuals. J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.). 1974.
King, R. (1974). "The American system": Legal sanctions to repress drug
abuse. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice
system (pp. 17-38). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "...ambitious lawmakers and empire-building policemen appear to have created social
attitudes instead of, as the system is supposed to work, merely reflecting and responding
to them" (King, 1974, p.18).
- "During the Civil War opium and morphine were in such demand to control dysentery
and ease the suffering of wounded soldiers that addiction among veterans was tolerantly
known as 'the Army disease" (King, 1974, p.18).
- In the early 1900s, the approximately 200,000 "victims [of addiction] were believed
to be preponderantly female, middle-aged, white, Southern, rural, and from privileged or
middle classes. No one then dreamed of associating drug abuse with criminality"
(King, 1974, pp. 18-19).
- The Food and Drug Act of 1906 "...required drug manufacturers who made use of
interstate commerce to disclose the ingredients in their products by appropriate
labeling" (King, 1974, p. 19).
- In the meantime, China lost the Opium Wars and "...according to one estimate, 27
percent of the adult male population of the country was addicted in some degree"
(King, 1974, p. 19).
- "On the other side of the world in Washington, Yankee lawmakers were being swept
away by missionary and moralistic zeal...[and in 1908] President Theodore Roosevelt
proposed that all powers concerned with the international opium traffic should meet to
consider cooperative measures to put an end to it" (King, 1974, p. 20.)
- "Out of this came the Shanghai Conference (1909) and the Hague Opium Convention,
signed in 1912 by delegates from thirteen governments. Under this Convention...each High
Contracting Party proposed to bind itself to restrain its nationals from trafficking in
opium and coca products, and to impose domestic controls on its citizens to curb
non-medicinal uses" (King, 1974, p. 20).
- "The first federal control enactment, the Harrison Narcotics Act of
1914...relied upon a then extraordinary extension of the federal tax power to require
manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers of opiates and coca products to register with
the Treasury Department and to keep records of transactions involving these
substances" (King, 1974, p. 19). This is how Congress intended to fulfill their
obligation to the Hague Opium Convention.
- "And it bears stressing again that in that day federal intervention into matters of
local choice and personal concern was virtually unprecedented" (King, 1974, p. 21).
- "...it was even possible for addicted persons of sufficient prominence and good
connections to be 'treated' with tacit Bureau protection. The payoff for this was what
Commissioner Anslinger wanted in the way of appropriations for his forces, and new federal
legislation he usually got virtually for the asking" (King, 1974, p. 24).
- Re: Marijuana Tax Act of 1937--"So the result was merely another nationwide
enforcement empire and new categories of federal crime" (King, 1974, p. 25).
- "By 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was pushed through Congress, the T-men had
begun to sound another note that would become their major theme for the ensuing decade:
the charge that American drug problems were caused by too-light penalties for second and
subsequent drug offenses" (King, 1974, p. 25).
- At the same time the Senate Judiciary Committee held its hearing, the American Medical
Association (AMA) and American Bar Association (ABA) made a study of the drug problem. The
five recommendations which came out of this included
"a comparative study of federal and state laws" and "an evaluation of
the effectiveness of current enforcement policies". The Bureau of Narcotics threw a
fit and attacked with 'comments' on the recommendations and interference with the
project's funding (King, 1974, 28).
Glaser, D. (1974). Interlocking dualities in drug use, drug control, and crime. In J.
A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp.
39-56). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- Daniel Glaser (1974, p.39) described two types of drug use. The first is
"instrumental", and that means a drug is used "for a specific physiological
effect." An example of instrumental drug use would be to take an aspirin for a
headache, a cold preparation to relieve symptoms of sneezing and runny nose, or the addict
taking opiates to relieve withdrawal symptoms. "Appreciative" use of drugs is
"done to conform to socio-cultural expectations in particular situations where shared
norms and values encourage it"; it is expected that a person have a drink containing
alcohol at a cocktail party.
- "Continued heavy use of opiates will almost always acquire an instrumental aspect
when physiological dependence occurs and the users discover that opiates relieve
withdrawal symptoms; this instrumental aspect is superimposed on any appreciative basis
for its use" (Glaser, 1974, p. 41). In other words, no matter how a person starts
using opiates--appreciatively, socializing with friends, or instrumentally, coping with
pain, ultimately use always becomes instrumental in relieving withdrawal symptoms.
- "The newer pattern of opiate use predominant in the United States since World War
II is initially more appreciative than instrumental. It occurs mainly among youth in urban
areas who have a background of delinquency, of other drug taking, and of failure or
dissatisfaction in conventional educational and occupational pursuits. Minority group
youth from poor families are over-represented in this newer pattern of opiate use"
(Glaser, 1974, p. 41).
- Government agencies use prohibition and regulation to control drug use.
"Prohibition is directed at suppressing all use of a drug, while regulation is
concerned only with restricting the circumstances, procedures, and subjects of drug
use" (Glaser, 1974, p. 41-42).
- "The 1914 Harrison Act of the United States and the 1920 Dangerous Drug Act of
Great Britain are very similar, both being based on a 1912 International Conference at the
Hague to promote opiate regulation ....[but] the American system gradually became one of
prohibition,...while the British system remained more limited to regulation. Since the
post-World War II legislation, opiate use has become a far costlier problem for American
society than it was prior to World War II" (Glaser, 1974, p. 42).
- "Regulation rather than prohibition prevails in most of Europe and many other parts
of the world. A salient advantage of regulation is that it permits files of police and
health authorities to be much more complete and current on the number and characteristics
of drug users than files where prohibition prevails and drug users are motivated to keep
their drug use hidden from authorities. Further consequences of a prohibition rather than
a regulation approach to drug control become evident when one examines how problems of
policing depend upon the behavior to be policed" (Glaser, 1974, p. 43).
- "Prohibition of drugs in great demand is feasible only in a tightly regulated
society or in an isolated community; it has never closed more than a minute percentage of
the actual or potential channels of supply for any profitable illegal drug market in
America" (Glaser, 1974, p. 44).
- "An acute shortage of opiates for addicts developed in the United States during
World War II because shipments from opium-producing countries were cut off or impaired by
enemy military actions....Since money was plentiful and addicts were desperate, the price
they would pay for illegal opiates increased, and the tremendous profits in narcotics
selling attracted professional criminals (Glaser, 1974, p. 46).
- "The entrance of organized crime into large-scale narcotic trafficking after World
War II more than met the demand of the older instrumental addict; these organizations also
developed a new and greater market of appreciative users in the drug peddlers' home
neighborhoods, the slums" (Glaser, 1974, p. 46).
- Two direct relationships between drugs and crime are mentioned in Daniel Glaser's (1974,
pp. 47-48). Interlocking Dualities: The first is "the fact that prohibition
laws make drug use or possession a crime in itself [and] that the chemical action of a
drug on the human body causes a person to commit crimes. This is the 'dope fiend'
mythology widely promulgated by proponents of prohibition laws, notably those against
alcohol, opiate, and marijuana. They allege that many assaults, robberies, and rapes
result from users being 'crazed' by these drugs."
- "...three indirect relationships of drug use to crime are all, in fact, effects of
prohibition policies much more than of drug use itself: ...persons who are addicted but
cannot afford the price of drugs will commit crimes to get money to pay for drugs [so] the
first of the distinctly prohibition-engendered types of crime is addiction-supporting
professional property crime" (Glaser, 1974, p. 49). The involvement of
large-scale criminal organizations in the sale of illegal drugs is a second effect of
prohibition....Because these criminal entrepreneurs operate outside the law in their drug
transactions, they are not bound by business etiquette in their competition with each
other, in their collection of debts, or in their non-drug investments. Terror, violence,
extortion, bribery, or any other expedient strategy is relied upon by these criminals not
only in the sale of illegal goods or services, but also in their investments in legitimate
businesses of all types, from taverns to savings and loan associations. The most
serious impact of prohibition of drug use on crime probably is that which is most
indirect--its consequences for the total administration of justice in a society" (Glaser,
1974, pp. 49-50) vis-a-vis erosion of the Bill of Rights, disrespect for the law in
general, and shady enforcement policies.
- "Social movements to enact prohibition laws have been promoted by 'moral
entrepreneurs' when they regarded a drug as dangerous and promulgated an interpretation of
its use as morally reprehensible (Becker, 1963). When that which is to be prohibited is
used only by small or low-status segments of the population...passage of the legislation
reflects a combination of the prohibitionists' exaggerated accounts of the harmful effects
of these substances and the ignorance or indifference on this matter of the rest of the
population. Under these circumstances legislators have a highly vocal group against them
if they oppose prohibition, but there is little objection if they support it, so they vote
for drug prohibition as though they were voting for Motherhood, even when they have no
direct awareness [of it] as a problem" (Glaser, 1974, p.51). THIS GOES DIRECTLY TO
THE POLICY OF DISCRIMINATION OF POOR AND MINORITIES, THOSE WHO THE LAWS DEFILE. A PERSON
WITH CLOUT IS ABLE TO DETOUR THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND OBTAIN HIS/HER medicine THROUGH
PROPER CHANNELS. E.G. MCCARTHY.
- Glaser (1974, p. 50) predicted that "the ultimate form of control for all
non-medical drugs in the United States will greatly resemble the present controls for
alcohol." UNFORTUNATELY, IN SPITE OF THE OVERWHELMING ARGUMENTS FOR
DECRIMINALIZATION, WE CONTINUE TO PLUNGE HEADLONG INTO MORE REPRESSIVE LAWS, FURTHER
BASTARDIZATION OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS, AND THE FURTHERANCE OF THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE
- "Probably in the future drugs will be available to those who crave them
sufficiently, with no risk of criminal prosecution if they use authorized procurement
procedures and only fines or other lesser penalties for illegal use....[and] the
dispensation of more dangerous drugs will doubtless be under medical supervision"
(Glaser, 1974, p. 51).
Gould, L. C. (1974). Crime and the addict: Beyond common sense. In J. A. Inciardi &
C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 57-76). Beverly
Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "Drug addiction is a major contributor to our nation's crime problem....Since
possessing illegal drugs is itself a crime, and since addicts have to possess drugs in
order to be addicts, addiction increases the total amount of crime" (Gould, 1974, p.
- "Of the seven 'serious' crimes included in the FBI Index of Crimes (manslaughter,
rape, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, and auto theft) Americans are most fearful of
the first four, crimes against the person (President's Crime Commission, 1967a: 87-89).
But with the exception of robbery, these are not the crimes that drug addicts are most
likely to commit" (Gould, 1974, pp. 58-59).
- "To explain the epidemic qualities of drug use, one could turn to the works of
Erikson (1966) and Durkheim (1958) who argue that crime becomes epidemic in form during
periods of extreme social stress. Indeed, according to these sociologists, it is through
the resolution of these epidemics that societies realign their normative boundaries and
reaffirm the validity of their normative order" (Gould, 1974, p. 72).
- The call for stiffer punishment is the 'classical-utilitarian' theory which was
"the prevailing theory at the time our nation was founded" (Glaser, 1974, p. 71)
but has "little currency among modern criminologists."
- "Positivist criminological theory is the hypothesis that people commit crime
because of psychological, biological, or social factors in their present makeup or
personal backgrounds....When crime has been on the increase, all positivist criminologists
have been able to do is recommend treatment and rehabilitation" (Gould, 1974, p. 71).
McGlothlin, W. H. & Tabbush, V. C. (1974). Costs, benefits, and potential for
alternative approaches to opiate addiction control. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers
(Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice system (pp. 77-124). Beverly Hills: Sage
- "Methadone maintenance-1 (MM-1) is the type of program currently being offered in a
number of clinics imposing strict control. Urines are closely monitored and patients are
confronted with evidence of illicit drug use. Take-home methadone is only permitted when
there is continuing evidence of abstinence from heroin and other drugs, plus social
stability. Patients are strongly urged to seek employment and are dismissed from the
program for repeated drug use, alcoholism, irregular participation, and illegal
behavior" (McGlothlin & Tabbush, 1974, p. 87).
- "A review of current methadone programs indicates that some 25 to 50 percent of the
patients are indeed motivated by this aspect. They do want out of the addiction routine
and are attracted by the normal rewards afforded by working, family, etc. They make
minimum demands on the program staff, do not attempt to circumvent the treatment via
substitution of other drugs, and often demonstrate a dramatic change in life style"
(McGlothlin & Tabbush, 1974, pp. 89-90).
- "It is useful to point out the logical fallacies resulting from society's
ambivalence in dealing with...[addiction]. It is perhaps best reflected in the Supreme
Court's decision to invalidate the crime of being an addict, but continue the felony
penalty for possessing the necessary material for addiction (Robinson decision)"
(McGlothlin & Tabbush, 1974, p. 117).
Meiselas, H. & Brill, L. (1974). The role of civil commitment in multimodality
programming. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal
justice system (pp. 171-182). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "It is increasingly recognized today that criteria other than abstinence--such as
improvement in interpersonal relationships, changes in self-image, employment, better use
of leisure time, reduction in drug use and criminality, and general movement towards
conventional behavior must be applied to assess treatment success" (Meiselas &
Brill, 1974, p. 173).
- "What must be stressed...is that there are all kinds of drug abusers, involved in
varying degrees with drugs. Some may be 'deviant' only in the area of involvement with
drugs and conventional in all other respects; while others are totally submerged in all
aspects of living as subsumed under the term 'street addict'" (Meiselas & Brill,
- "The question of civil rights and liberties has figured prominently in discussions
about civil commitment as a device for compelling treatment. Psychiatrists and doctors
such as Szasz (1963, 1970) and Well (1970) and sociologists like Schur (1965) hold that
society has no right to define and control private behavior and see drug use as a personal
affair. The natural corollary of this position is that treatment may not be indicated at
all; or, if it is, it must be voluntary and not imposed since it then becomes punitive and
valueless" (Meiselas & Brill, 1974, p. 179).
Greenberg, S. M. (1974). Compounding a felony: Drug abuse and the American legal
system. In J. A. Inciardi & C. D. Chambers (Eds.), Drugs and the criminal justice
system (pp. 183-202). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "Imagine, if you will, that the drug abuse crisis in our country was the result of
a conspiracy. A conspiracy so vast in its scope as to boggle the mind of a James Bond. The
purpose of this conspiracy would be, of course, to so confound and confuse the United
States of America that she consistently and mindlessly would pursue a course of absolute
idiocy. That she would steadfastly perform acts that were antagonistic to her best
interests--that would alienate her people, destroy her health, ruin her morale. Imagine
the minds of her legislators befuddled, the souls of her judges and policemen hardened and
twisted in hatred, the intellects of her educators confused, and her citizenry reduced to
the level of a frenzied mob. Conjure up the picture of evil alien rules rubbing together
their hands in glee over the sight of the most powerful nation in the world destroying
itself from within, like a scorpion dispatching itself with its own stinger.
And then ask yourself--if the truth is not too painful--whether any evil aliens or
sinister plots could have succeeded in impairing our national welfare as totally as we
have done through our frenzied efforts to react to a phenomenon that we never really
attempted to understand. Try and recall the period in our history when people first began
to realize that drugs were going to be a white middle-class problem in the United States,
and consequently decided to do something about it. Look back on all the legislation, all
the drug education programs, all the legal and illegal police activities, and yes, even
all the National Football League public service announcements on drug abuse. Are we any
closer now to what we wanted to accomplish back in 1964 in terms of keeping drug abuse
within 'acceptable' limits? If we could be magically transported back to those fateful
years of the 1960s and be given a chance to do the whole thing over again, and then if we
deliberately attempted to create the drug problem, could we, even with the benefit
of hindsight, be more successful at throwing our country into crisis?
It is time to face the fact that after several frantic, heartbreaking years of reaction
and overreaction to drug usage, we have accomplished virtually nothing--nothing except the
exposure of our legal system as an inept, sometimes oppressive and corrupt instrument for
the enforcement of public and private morality. We have not curbed drug abuse...we haven't
even slowed it. What we have done is to further alienate an entire generation of our
children, already alienated by the reality they perceive around them.
...Had the Vietnam war ended in 1965 or 1966, would the 'passive' 1950s have erupted
into the massive disruptions and violence of the 1960s? If the nation had reacted to the
shame of watching an overtly racist social system enforce its values by utilizing
firehoses, clubs, guns, bayonets, and vicious dogs to subdue non-violent school children,
and committed itself on a long-term basis to establishing real equality for blacks, would
our children have turned away from their television sets in fear and disgust and taken to
the streets? An finally, if we had reacted with acceptance, or even paternalistic
amusement to long hair, bare feet, unorthodox dress, and the conception of a new type of
brotherhood for our country, instead of with disgust, envy, hatred, fear and violence--if
we had taken the flower that was offered instead of slapping the bearers' hands
away--could we not have kept our children, instead of driving them away?" (Greenberg,
1974, pp. 183-184).
- "Americans are a peculiar people. More than any other country in modern times they
have avowed their dedication to the highest principles of freedom. They have written and
enforced a constitution emulated the world over for its protection of the major freedoms
of the common man from the government which he has set above him. On the other hand,
Americans have tolerated almost without qualms, restrictions on their rights of personal
privacy..." (Greenberg, 1974, p. 189).
- "Virtually all laws which attempt to influence private morality suffer from the
same defect--[they]...are generally passed to protect everyone else but the people who
write them. Just as prohibition was initiated largely by non-drinkers, laws against the
use of drugs were passed by those who hadn't the least idea of what drug usage was
like" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 189).
- "Many of the persons responsible for setting the moral and legal tone for our
nation do not want to know the truth! The truth is irrelevant to their reality. What is
relevant to their reality is that, for political considerations, they do not want to
be on record as being a political leader who presided over the legalization of drug
usage--not in this era of the ascendancy of the silent majority. And if we have to throw a
few thousand of our children into jail to preserve the purity of our politicians' voting
records...so be it." (Greenberg, 1974, pp. 189-190).
- "It is clear...that the majority of the drug abuse efforts in the middle and late
1960s was politically inspired. By this I mean that the rationale behind the legislation
was not the control of drug abuse, but the deliberate harassment and suppression of an
emerging minority group felt to be politically dangerous and morally disruptive. No other
rationale can explain the severity of the sentences mandated for crimes which were
basically passive in nature and consensual on the part of the 'victims'. Nothing else can
explain the failure on the part of lawmakers to distinguish between users and pushers,
between addicts and those who could control their usage. An finally, no theory other than
political suppression can account for the concentration of emphasis on the small-time user
and pusher and the massive disinterest in pursuing the major illegal suppliers of
narcotics and other dangerous substances" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 190).
- "Tragically, legislators actually believe, in many instances, that stiffer
penalties deter the commission of crimes [as noted in] the study made by the California
State Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure, 'Crime and Penalties in California', which
found no evidence that severe penalties effectively deter crime" (Greenberg, 1974, p.
- "Ironically, many observers have come to the conclusion that the vigorous
enforcement of laws relating to drug abuse have actually led to an increase in
drug-related crimes. This is because an increase in the harassment of pushers drives the
price of drugs up. Consequently, the addict, who must steal from five to ten dollars of
merchandise for every one dollar of drugs he needs, is forced to turn a greater number of
tricks in order to acquire an ample supply" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 191).
- "The rules of the game in relation to the passing of legislation relating to the
imposition of penalties for drug abuse...have been relatively simple...and simplistic:
First, act quickly, before there is time to study the situation. Second, don't let
scientific evidence corrupt your point of view...rely on your gut reaction and the
inflamed passions of your constituency. Third, don't hesitate to sacrifice someone else's
child for the cause (you can always use your influence to get your own child off). And
finally, start from the bottom--you offend less important people by doing so"
(Greenberg, 1974, p. 191).
- "There is a great disparity of opinion as to whether a narc should be classified as
a law officer or as a criminal....Perhaps the most charitable thing I can say about
narcotics agents is that they are a necessary part of a failing system. They are a
reflection of the depths to which we will sink in our efforts to control men's lives and
morals" (Greenberg, 1974, pp. 194-195).
- "Society and the policeman share an almost classic sado-masochistic relationship.
Often, however, it is difficult to determine which party is the sadist, and which the
masochist" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 198).
- "A significant minority of police officers consistently, deliberately, and
ruthlessly violate the rights of the citizens with which they deal, and violate the
Constitution and laws they are sworn to uphold. Police, acting in the line of duty, may be
responsible for more violations of the law per capita than any other group. Probably in no
other area is the police officer as abusive of his authority as in the area of drug
arrests. Because of the nature of society's response to the drug abuse crisis, the
controls that would ordinarily be placed upon the policeman has been removed or ignored by
his superiors and by the general public" (Greenberg, 1974, p. 198).
THE DRUGS CRIME CONNECTION: Volume 5. Sage Annual Reviews of Drug
and Alcohol Abuse - James A. Inciardi, Editor. 1981.
Inciardi, J. A. (1981). Drug use and criminal behavior: Major research issues. In J. A.
Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp. 7-16). Beverly Hills: Sage
- A study by Drs. Ball, Rosen, Flueck, and Nurco revealed that "there was a six-fold
increase in...[opiate addicts'] frequency of crime when addicted" (Inciardi, 1981, p.
Clayton, R. R. (1981). Federal drugs-crime research: Setting the agenda. In J. A.
Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.17-38). Beverly Hills: Sage
- The "heroin epidemic was particularly bothersome to the Nixon administration for at
least two reasons: (1) there was concern that an increasing level of heroin use at home
was linked directly to Vietnam, and (2) an increasing number of heroin addicts, with their
presumed reliance on crime to support their habits, was antithetical to the
administration's stated goal of reducing crime in the streets" (Clayton, 1981, p.20).
- "In an election year it was wise from a political standpoint to be fighting heroin
addicts and their criminality while implementing a rehabilitative treatment system to help
those who might have become addicted in Vietnam" (Clayton, 1981, p. 20).
- "American drug control policy is based on the assumptions that a two-pronged
simultaneous attack on drug abuse via supply-reduction and demand-reduction strategies
will affect drug use, crime, and the drug-crime connection. The policy makers at NIDA
[National Institute on Drug Abuse] were upset that the efficacy of this policy was not
affirmed in the Report. Therefore, they, the policy makers, decided not to publish
the PANEL Report as a NIDA document (Clayton, 1981, p. 23).
- Weissman explained why "...NIDA chose not to publish the PANEL Report...[because]
it questioned the basic assumptions on which American drug-control policies are based. The
policies to which he refers are those of supply reduction and demand reduction that are
articulated in the Federal Strategy Report" (Clayton, 1981, p.24).
Ball, J. C., Rosen, L, Flueck, J. A., & Nurco, D. N. (1981). The criminality of
heroin addicts: When addicted and when off opiates. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The
drugs-crime connection (pp.39-66). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "Most of the early investigators found little criminality before the onset of
opiate addiction (Kolb, 1925; Terry and Pellens, 1928; Pescor, 1943). Later studies,
however, have shown a high probability of criminality preceding heroin addiction (Robins
and Murphy, 1967; Jacoby et al., 1973; Chamber, 1974). Thus, Jacoby reports that 71
percent of heroin users in Philadelphia had a delinquency record prior to onset of their
opiate use, compared to 35 percent of all boys in the same citywide age cohort who also
had such records" (Ball, Rosen, Flueck, Nurco, 1981, p. 40). OF COURSE, THE VERY ACT
OF POSSESSING IS ILLEGAL. IS THIS CONSIDERED WHEN FIGURING THE LABEL OF DELINQUENCY? WE
CREATED THE BLACK MARKET IN DRUGS WHICH PUTS THOSE WHO WERE ADDICTED MEDICALLY INTO THE
POSITION OF HAVING TO DEAL WITH 'CRIMINALS', AND THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED SOME DEVIANT ACT
ARE MORE LIKELY TO MEET UP WITH THOSE INVOLVED IN DRUGS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE
DRUG-CRIMINALITY CONNECTION. WE HAVE CREATED MOST OF OUR OWN PROBLEMS RE: DRUGS, AND THE
ONES WE DID NOT CREATE, WE COMPLICATED.
Goldstein, P. J. (1981). Getting over: Economic alternatives to predatory crime among
street drug users. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.67-84).
Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "For street opiate users, economic goal attainment focuses on meeting the demands
of daily existence rather than on any long-term career development. Survival presents a
daily challenge that is dealt with in whatever fashion appears most appropriate under
variable and often difficult circumstances" (Goldstein, 1981, p. 67)
- "The economic successes achieved by street opiate users tend to be discrete and
transitory. Subjects in this study perceived and recounted these successes using the
processual term, getting over....The notion of 'getting over' is similar to that of
'getting by'. Both phrases are most often used to describe an economic state of affairs.
However, while 'getting by' implies a static state, a mere holding of one's own, 'getting
over' implies a dynamic process in which some sort of success is achieved. For example, an
addict who sells a less experienced user a $5 bag of heroin for $10 say, 'I got over on
him'....Getting over usually involves a degree of scheming or conning" (Goldstein,
1981, p. 68).
- Goldstein (1981, p. 71) states, "Most subjects in methadone maintenance treatment
programs sold some of their dosage at least once during the month they were under study.
Ten individuals out of 13 MMTP clients who were observed sold treatment dosages..."
HOWEVER, THIS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN TO MEAN THAT MOST METHADONE MAINTENANCE PATIENTS SELL
THEIR DOSAGES. ADDICTS IN GOLDSTEIN'S (1981) STUDY WERE REPORTING TO A STOREFRONT IN EAST
HARLEM WHICH WAS "KNOWN TO BE A CENTER OF OPIATE ACTIVITY", AND THOSE
ATTRACTED TO THE STOREFRONT WHICH WAS USED AS A "HANGOUT" BY MANY
SUBJECTS MAY HAVE BEEN THOSE NOT ACTIVELY SEEKING "TREATMENT" AND
COUNSELING. THEY WERE MOSTLY MALE (92%). FOR EXAMPLE, THE PROGRAM I AM IN UTILIZES RANDOM
URINES TO DETERMINE EXTRACURRICULAR DRUG USE, AND SANCTIONS ARE IMPOSED FOR THIS--LOSS OF
TAKEHOMES IS A MAJOR "PUNISHMENT" OR SANCTION FOR
"IMPROPER" DRUG USE. THOSE OF US WHO ARE WORKING AND/OR GOING TO SCHOOL
DON'T HAVE TIME TO GO INTO THE CLINIC EVERY DAY TO DOSE, AND WE ARE NOT INVOLVED WITH THE
- "Cop men may simply pocket all the money and never return with the drugs"
(Goldstein, 1981, p. 73). THIS IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS "BACKDOORING", AND
COMES FROM THE FACT THAT A CUSTOMER WILL GIVE A "COP" MAN MONEY TO BUY
DRUGS, AND THE "COP" GOES IN ONE DOOR WHERE THE CUSTOMER HAS DROPPED HIM
OFF. THE "COP" GOES OUT A DIFFERENT DOOR WHERE SOMEONE IS WAITING TO
PICK HIM/HER UP AND LEAVES THE CUSTOMER SITTING MINUS MONEY AND DRUGS. THIS HAPPENS
FREQUENTLY WHEN A CUSTOMER GOES TO HIS REGULAR "COPPER", BUT THE
COPPER'S CONNECTIONS ARE OUT OF DRUGS, AND THE ADDICT IS DESPERATE FOR A
"FIX". THE ADDICT WILL THEN USE ALL HIS POWERS OF RATIONALIZATION TO
"TRUST" THIS NEW COPPER BECAUSE S/HE IS SO DESPERATE FOR THAT FIX.
- "Vinny once rented his works [hypodermic needle] to seventeen people in a single
day" (Goldstein, 1981, p. 74).
Datesman, S. K. (1981). Women, crime, and drugs. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The
drugs/crime connection (pp. 85-104). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "Beginning with the Harrison Act in 1914, however, a series of events occurred that
linked addiction with crime. As the addict population became typified by lower-class black
males, moral hostility increased and 'the image of the addict changed from a sick to a
contemptible deviant' (Conrad and Schneider, 1980:128). Addiction had become a social
problem" (Datesman, 1981, p. 85).
McBride, D. C. (1981). Drugs and violence. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime
connection (pp.105-124). Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- The film Reefer Madness shows a marijuana smoker "turning into a
werewolf-like creature after inhaling marijuana smoke" (McBride, 1981, p. 106).
- "Whenever a drug user engages in violence, the media are apt to describe the
incident in such a manner as to imply the continued existence and danger of drug
fiends" (McBride, 1981, p. 106).
- In the early 1900s, "the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was very active in describing
the drug addict as behaving in a bizarre, unpredictable, often violent manner. The
pre-World War II popular media influenced by the Bureau of Narcotics portrayed drug users
quite literally as monsters and fiends" (McBride, 1981, p. 105).
- "It is suggested that any attempt to understand the relationship between drugs and
crime must include a focus on the daily life and interaction of the user--particularly
within the context of the drug deal--not just on the activities undertaken to obtain the
money for drugs" (McBride, 1981, p. 120).
Goldman, F. (1981). Drug abuse, crime, and economics: The dismal limits of social
choice. In J. A. Inciardi (Ed.), The drugs-crime connection (pp.155-181). Beverly
Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
- "The grams and purity are locked up in the bag and remain as much a mystery to the
user as they do to the researchers" (Goldman, 1981, p. 165).
- "The Canadian Commission...reports that 'of all drugs used medically or
non-medically, alcohol has the strongest and most consistent relationship to crime'"
(Goldman, 1981, p. 167). ALTHOUGH WE TRIED PROHIBITION, MAKING IT ILLEGAL TO USE ALCOHOL,
IT IS NO LONGER ILLEGAL TO USE OR POSSESS IT. WE DO, HOWEVER, DELEGATE RESPONSIBLITY TO
THE USER FOR ANY CRIMES S/HE MAY COMMIT UNDER ITS INFLUENCE. NOT SO WITH CERTAIN DRUGS; WE
DON'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE USER WILL DO, BUT THE VERY ACT OF POSSESSION OR USE IS A CRIME
IN ITSELF. THAT'S LIKE SAYING, "YOU ARE A CRIMINAL JUST BY VIRTUE OF OWNING OR
SHOOTING A GUN. YOU MAY NOT HAVE HURT ANYONE, BUT YOU ARE GUILTY--OF SOMETHING. THERE IS
NO PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE.
THE DETROIT NEWS - Sowell, T., 1989, October 2.
Sowell, T. (1989, October 2). Bush's war on drugs another Vietnam? The
- Thomas Sowell (1989, October 2) stated "...there is nothing so bad that politics
cannot make it worse. Drug gang violence is not due to the chemical nature of drugs but to
the illegality of drugs, which is what makes them costly and profitable. Ending
Prohibition did not stop alcoholics from destroying their lives, but it did
put...bootleggers out of business."
- "Hard core cocaine addicts are increasing but they are still less than one-half of
one percent of the American population. Are the other 99½ percent of the people to see
their country and its institutions and civil liberties jeopardized to try to keep one
small group from destroying itself?" (Sowell, 1989, October 2).
- "Like Vietnam, the war on drugs has been escalated with a contrived incident--the
purchase of cocaine n Lafayette Park, across the street form (sic) the White House. Now it
has come out that Lafayette Park is not a center for drug dealing after all, but that a
drug dealer elsewhere was lured there for this transaction just so the president could go
public with the cocaine purchased across the street" (Sowell, 1989, October 2).
THE MYTHOLOGY OF CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Kappeler, V. E., Blumberg, M., & Potter, G. W. (1993). The mythology of crime
and criminal justice. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press, Inc.
POLICING AMERICAN SOCIETY
LaGrange, R. L. (1993). Policing American Society. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Inc.
- History and Highlights: Kefauver Commission--connection between organized crime and
police payoffs in "many U. S. cities....[including] Miami, Detroit, and New
Orleans" (LaGrange, 1993, p. 217).
HUMAN RIGHTS READER
Bentham, J. (1990). Principles of legislation. In W. Laqueur & B. Rubin (Eds.) The
Human Rights Reader (Rev. ed., pp. 85-86). New York: Meridian, Penguin Books USA Inc.
- In Principles of Legislation (1802), by Jeremy Bentham (1990, p. 85), he deals with the
law and his interpretation of political good and evil on the following basis:
It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every
law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government
has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the
legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the
incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are
greater than those which he employs to prevent them. There are then two things to be
regarded; the evil of the offense and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the
evil of the remedy.
Eg: The operation was a success but the patient died.
- General Rule: Leave to individuals the greatest possible latitude in every case where
they can only injure themselves, for they are the best judges of their own interests. If
they deceive themselves, the moment they perceive their error, it is to be presumed they
will not persist. Do not suffer the power of the law to interfere, unless to
prevent their injuring each other (emphasis mine). It is there that law is
necessary; it is there that the application of punishment is truly useful, since the rigor
shown toward one may ensure the safety of all..." (Bentham, 1990, p.86).
Kenworthy, T. (1988, September 19). House's tough antidrug bill called war on bill of
rights: Measure would transform the legal system. Washington Post, pp. A1+.
- Tom Kenworthy wrote in the Washington Post (1988, September, pp. A1+),
"During a meeting of House Democratic floor leaders, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)
suggested to one of his colleagues that before the final vote at week's end on the $2
billion omnibus drug bill, the House ought to vote to suspend the Constitution."
Musial, R. (1989, September 20). First traffic check lanes set up. The Detroit Free
Press, pp. 3A, 19A).
- Classic hegemony--Check lanes were set up for drug control. No drugs were found, but 44
traffic tickets were issued. One of those issued a ticket said, "I got a ticket
because I left my license at home, but I think it's great if they're doing it to fight
drugs" (Musial, 1989, September 20, pp. 3A, 19A).
Brain's addiction mechanism found. (1994, September 13). USA Today, p. 7D).
- The nucleus accumbiens is the part of the brain that is responsible for the pleasurable
effects of a drug and the effects addicts feel when they try to quit the drug.
"Blocking brain chemical receptors in addicted animals triggers symptoms that mimic
those of withdrawal" (USA Today, p. 7D).
Wisotsky, S. (1990). Beyond the war on drugs: Overcoming a failed public policy.
Buffalo: Prometheus Books.
- "If our society ever becomes interested in actually managing 'the drug problem'
instead of throwing an ideological temper tantrum, it will concentrate its efforts on the
long-term process of designating community-based regulatory mechanisms, in the public and
private sectors, to influence and moderate drug-taking behavior. It will fund research
into these alternatives" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 213).
- "The Reagan Administration sliced the prevention and treatment budget in half in
order to funnel the money into law enforcement" (Wisotsky, 1990, p.214). This is
exactly the opposite of what should have been done.
- As Wisotsky states (1990, p. 214), The War on Drugs is so wrong, so ineffective, and so
destructive that almost any alternative should be preferred by thinking people. It would
be hard to do worse than the status quo."
- "Experience in Oregon, California, and Maine following decriminalization of
marijuana in the 1970's showed no significant percentage of new users or an increase in
frequency of use" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 215).
- "The premises of the War on Drugs, in addition to being objectionable in principle,
fail to offer any practical solution to the problem of drug abuse, which grows worse every
year. The War on Drugs has no creative or constructive power whatever" (Wisotsky,
1990, p. 216).
- Wisotsky (1990, p. 216), concludes that "the War on Drugs is beginning to collapse
of its own weight." This would be wonderful if true; and if so, it better hurry.
- "As the hegemonic, senior generation over age 45 or 50 dies off, it will be
replaced by one for whom the War on Drugs makes no cultural sense, quite apart from its
operational failures and black market pathologies" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 218). AND WITH
ALL THE SOCIAL PROBLEMS WE HAVE WAITING TO BE SOLVED, IT'S TOO BAD MONEY FROM TAXABLE,
REGULATED DRUGS IS NOT BEING MADE AVAILABLE. IN FACT, ALL THE MONEY BEING PUMPED INTO LAW
ENFORCEMENT IS TAKING AWAY FROM AND CAUSING MORE SOCIAL PROBLEMS.
- "Many studies report that the more (accurate) information a person has about drugs,
the less likely he is to regard them as dangerous" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 219).
- "The adoption of cocaine by the middle classes was evidently considered hot copy by
the media, which reported on it incessantly and often sensationally" (Wisotsky, 1990,
- "Viewing the entire cocaine industry as one corporation, it would rank seventh in
sales among the Fortune 500" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 17).
- "Another way of describing the rationalistic bias of this [objective] research
method is to see it as anti-holistic, i.e., a captive of the Cartesian division between
mind and body, analyzing the sum of the parts to learn about the whole without considering
the interaction of the parts and possible synergistic effects. The bias against
'experiential' models of drug effects reflects a conceptual reductionism of human beings
to mere components or parts (body or mind) reacting like machines to drug stimuli in
standardized fashion" (Wisotsky, 1990, pp.19-20).
- "The law thus neatly serves as prescription both for ignorance and for maintenance
of the status quo" (Wisotsky, 1990, p. 20).
Szasz, T. (1990). Foreword. In S. Wisotsky Beyond the war on drugs: Overcoming a
failed public policy. Buffalo: Prometheus Books.
- "Perhaps because of our diversity as a people, it is difficult for us to find a
stable basis for 'congregating' as a nation, a circumstance that amplifies our collective
craving for moral crusades against scapegoats bearing heavy loads of imaginary
dangers" (Szasz, 1990, Foreword xvi).
- "The sacrificial principle of victimage (the 'scapegoat') ...explains why it is
such a sad truism that....'it is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been
caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on
doing evil.' In my opinion, this is not just probable, it is quite certain" (Szasz,
1990, Foreword xvi).
Adler, P. A. (1993). Wheeling and dealing: An ethnography of an upper-level drug
dealing and smuggling community. (2nd ed.) New York: Columbia University Press.
- "Quite frankly, it would have been impossible for a nonuser to have gained access
to this group to gather the data presented here" (Adler, 1993, p. 24).
- Many factors are involved in the pricing of illegal drugs: cost of the drug from the
source; prevailing market price; location (logically, border towns provide a less
expensive product since drugs are more plentiful there); risk of arrest associated with
the number of borders crossed; how long the drugs have to be held before sale; distance of
travel before sale; mode of transportation "(especially if they have to transfer the
drugs from one mode of transportation and/or storage to another)"; credit
considerations; quality (however, the quality of cocaine was "fairly consistent [so]
they thus let the dealers to whom they sold worry about testing and cutting the
product"; and situational conditions including "need of money" or personal
relationships (Adler, 1993, pp. 45-48).
- "There were two basic forms of drug dealing: straight dealing and middling.
Straight dealing involved purchasing drugs in one quantity and dividing them into smaller
units to sell....[One type of midling involved selling the] drugs they purchased intact,
without separating them into smaller units....The second type of midling was customer
initiated. Dealers were often approached by people looking to buy a specific amount of
drugs....[The dealer then] matched a source of supply with a cash purchaser,...boosted the
price[,] and made money on the transfer" Adler, 1993, pp. 49-53).
- "In contrast to straight dealing, dealers who middled rarely adulterated the
drug....'cause God forbid you have to give it back....A small quantity, however, was often
removed for the middler's own personal consumption" (Adler, 1993, p. 53).
- "It's not really dealing--[midling] it's just putting together two connections, but
the trick is to keep them apart so they don't know who each other are and they need you to
complete the link" (Adler, 1993, p. 54).
- "Money meant nothing to me. Like, if some guy gave me a $100 bill I'd go out and
burn it or cut it in half for all I cared" (Adler, 1993, p.86). MONEY MEANT NOTHING
TO ME EITHER EXCEPT THAT I HAD TO HAVE IT TO GET MY DRUGS. I ONLY THOUGHT OF MONEY IN
TERMS OF HOW MANY DILAUDIDS I COULD PURCHASE--OTHER THAN THAT, I DIDN'T CARE ONE WAY OR
- Describing the lows of freebasing, a user states, "Lows? It's like when you can't
get up to go to the bathroom and your mind goes by itself. When you're up pacing the
floor--your mind, but your body's not. When you're so wired and exhausted and you just
want to sleep but you can't . You lie there staring at the ceiling for about 14 hours
straight. You're so fucked up you're embarrassed to go out of the house. Falling asleep in
public bars" (Adler, 1993, pp. 88-89). UNLIKE OPIATE ADDICTION, THERE IS DEBATE AS TO
WHETHER COCAINE IS PHYSICALLY ADDICTING. THE LOWS FROM OPIATE ADDICTION INCLUDE DEFINITE
PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES WHICH INCLUDE...
- Some "children of the dealing crowd eventually...graduated to become 'tinydealers.'
Moving into junior high and high school, 13- and 14-year-old dealers were capable of
making large sums of money by selling ounces of marijuana and grams or half-grams of
cocaine to their peers" (Adler, 1993, p. 93).
- "To make it in the drug world, dealers and smugglers had to generate trust and
likability. The most important character trait in this regard was integrity.
According to others, quality dealers were honest and fair in their business transactions,
gave exact "counts" (full weight values), and made fairly accurate estimations
of the quality of their product." (Adler, 1993, p. 100).
Scullum, J. (1991). Secondary Smoke is not harmful to nonsmokers. In D. L. Bender &
B. Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical
dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 72-78). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.
- "As James M. Buchanan has noted, using the state's power to control your neighbor's
annoying habits is a risky business. 'Let those who would use the political process to
impose their preferences on the behavior of others be wary of the threat to their own
liberties,' he writes. 'The liberties of some cannot readily be restricted without
limiting the liberties of all" (Scullum, 1991, p. 78).
D'Amato, B. (1992). The doctor, the murder, the mystery: The true story of the Dr.
John Branion murder case. Chicago: The Noble Press, Inc.
- "In the 1930s, if a person accused of a crime could not afford to hire an attorney,
he went to trial with no defense except his own efforts. It was not until 1942 that the
Supreme Court forced the states to appoint an attorney for an accused person, and then it
was only for capital offenses. Twenty-one years later, in the famous case of Gideon v.
Wainwright, the Supreme Court required the state to appoint an attorney to defend any
indigent person accused of a felony" (D'Amato, 1992, p. 49).
- "By spring of 1968, "resistance to the Vietnam War was so intense, so broad,
and so angry that it had driven President Lyndon Johnson to announce that he would not run
for reelection" (D'Amato, 1992, p. 91).
- On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assasinated (D'Amato, 1992, p. 92).
- "In Chicago [Martin Luther King, Jr.] recruited young men who were members of
street gangs and converted their anger into energy for change. One of his early strategies
was to appoint them marshals of the marches. It was their job to keep the peace. When
glass bottles and bricks and rocks rained down from the rooftops at the marchers, the
gang-members-turned-marshals caught them as a ballplayer would catch a pop fly, and then
laid them gently on the ground" (D'Amato, p. 73).
Bender, D. L. (1991). Why consider opposing viewpoints? In D. L. Bender & B. Leone
(Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical dependency:
Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 9-11). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.
- "It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question
without debating it - Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)" (Bender, 1991, p. 9).
Nakken, C. (1991). An addictive personality may cause chemical dependency. In D. L.
Bender & B. Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical
dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 30-37). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.
- "We are starting to see how the gradual loss of the Self occurs in addiction, and
how the addictive personality slowly gains more and more control. The decrease in the
Self causes an increase in the addictive personality.
In addition, there is an almost constant internal conflict between the Self and the
Addict. In this struggle, the Addict wins. This is what is meant by "loss of
control." The longer the struggle, the more control the addictive personality gains
and establishes. Each time the Self struggles against the addiction, the Addict becomes
stronger. To fight and struggle against something that has more power than you drains your
energy. For each defeat there is some loss of self-esteem...
...In addiction, the Addict becomes the dominant personality.
People and family members often desperately ask themselves and others, 'Why does he act
like this? Doesn't he care about us anymore?' The truth is that the Addict within doesn't
care about them. What it cares about is acting out, getting the mood change. The Addict
doesn't care about the Self either. A statement such as, 'At least if you won't stop for
me, stop for yourself!' falls on deaf ears. The person who suffers from an addiction often
asks the same question long before anyone else: 'Why do I act this way? Don't I care?'
It's often a great relief for people suffering from an addiction to realize that they
are not 'bad people', as they believed, that their addictive personality is not all of
them, but only a part of them, having grown as a result of the illness" (Nakken,
1991, pp. 36-37).
Peele, S. (1991). Personal choice causes cocaine addiction. In D. L. Bender & B.
Leone (Series Eds.) & C. P. Cozic & K. Swisher (Book Eds.), Chemical
dependency: Opposing viewpoints, (pp. 38-44). San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc.
- "Cocaine came to be addictive among some inner-city users and among a very small
percentage of middle-class users who tried the drug.
Why didn't most of these people become cocaine addicts? The answer is so simple that we
are left wondering why scientists can't figure it out: Most people have better things to
do than to become addicted to cocaine" (Peele, 1991, p. 42).
- "A study of middle-class users of cocaine by the Addiction Research Foundation of
Toronto found not only that most regular users do not become addicted, but also that most
of those who develop a steady craving for cocaine eventually cut back or quit the drug on
their own" (Peele, 1991, p. 42).
- "...we have reached a strange impasse in our civilization when we rely for
information and moral guidance about habits on the most debilitated segments of our
population--groups who attribute to addiction and drugs what are actually their personal
problems. What, really, are we to learn from people who stand up and testify that they
couldn't control their shopping spress, that they spent all their money and went bankrupt
to get material possessions we were smart enough to resist, and that they now want us to
forgive them and their debts?" Who should we listen to regarding addiction--the
moralists or the addict? (Peele, 1991, pp. 42, 43).
Oakley, R., Ph. D., & Ksir, C., Ph. D. (1987). Drugs, Society and Human Behavior.
St. Louis, Missouri: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing.
- Toward the middle of the century, Harry Anslinger, the first Commissioner of the Bureau
of Narcotics arranged for Senator McCarthy to have his narcotics supplied to him by a
Washington pharmacy without the interference of narcotic officers (Oakley & Ksir,
1987, p. 42). However, he was opposed to any treatment which supplied narcotics to addicts
on the street and rigorously enforced laws against them.
- In the 1800's, drug use was thought of as "laissez-faire". If a person wanted
to use a substance and another wanted to sell it, what difference did it make? (Oakley,
& Ksir, 1987, p. 22).
Cantor, G. (1989, October 2). Smoking crack differs from drinking a beer. The
Detroit News, p. B3.
- When one sees an article such as the one George Cantor (1989, October 2, p. 3B) wrote,
one has to wonder who made him judge, jury, and moral superior. He states that most of
those who drink are not doing it for the purpose of getting drunk, but those who take
drugs are essentially moral degenerates because they take drugs to get high. He states,
"I know of no one who would argue that illegal drugs are harmless at any level of
Monson, M. C. (1980, November). The dirty little secret behind our drug laws. Reason.
Reprinted in Drugs, Volume 3. (Boca Raton, Fla: Social Issues Resources Series,
Inc., 1980), Article No. 19.
- However, in actuality "...taking of narcotics results in no measurable organic
damage", (Monson, 1980, p. 51).
- "The first two laws prohibiting opium smoking were passed in...1875 and 1876 in
response to discrimination of the Chinese" (Monson, 1980, p. 48) who were thought of
as an inferior race. In 1910, legislation was requested regarding cocaine since it was
"...authoritatively stated that cocaine is often the direct incentive to the crime of
rape by the Negroes of the South and other sections of the country" (Monson, 1980, p.
- In the 1920's, heroin was linked to "promiscuous urban gangs [and] alcohol was
associated with immigrants..." (Monson, 1980, p. 48) who were not to be trusted.
- "One hundred years ago the concept that the State could tell Americans what they
could and could not ingest would have been ridiculed" (Monson, 1980, p. 51).
Hyde, M. O. (1990). Drug wars. New York: Walker and Company.
- Dr. Sydney Cohen, whose voice has been considered the most rational in an irrational
world of drugs, writes in Cocaine: The Bottom Line that scare tactics are
counterproductive and should be avoided..." (Hyde, 1990, p. 19).
- "Officials in drug-producing and -processing countries are quick to point out that
the tremendous demand for drugs in the United States drives the drug business" (Hyde,
1990, pp. 90-91).
- "Many of the dealers are shot, some by the police when they resist orders, some by
drug dealers who are trying to protect their turf or intimidate competitors" (Hyde,
1990, p. 26).
- "Valerie...lives in a neighborhood where abandoned buildings house crack dealers,
where vacant lots have become dumping grounds for trash, and where gun battles are common.
When shooting is heard, she hides under her bed. More than a hundred people were killed in
her neighborhood last year and most of the deaths were drug related. ....Valerie wishes
the police would arrest the dealers on the corner, but if they do, other dealers will take
their places" (Hyde, 1990, p. 26).
- "Some experts in the field of drug abuse note that the first laws aimed at
controlling opiate use in the United States were aimed at controlling a racial minority
that the public feared....Many news reporters blamed the 'yellow devils,' the relatively
small group of Chinese laborers, for the spreading addiction problem in America and
especially for corrupting American youth. Emotionalism was rampant, and moral reform
movements were common. Alcohol, opium, and other drugs were the targets of crusades that
fought against the use of drugs that affect the mind" (Hyde, 1990, p. 33).
- "At first, heroin was considered benign and was used as a substitute for liquor. It
was backed by the Bayer Company for a short time, before it was recognized as producing
the same kind of addiction as morphine" (Hyde, 1990, p. 33).
- "Until more is learned, many doctors are willing to accept methadone as the best
treatment in the war against heroin" (Hyde, 1990, p. 40).
Berger, G. (1989). Violence and drugs. New York: Franklin Watts.
- "In rapidly growing numbers, unskilled, poorly educated people in inner-city areas
are finding drug dealing the most lucrative career option available to them. Many children
enticed into the drug culture at an early age drop out of school and by their mid-teens
enter the violent world of drug dealing and distribution" (Berger, 1989, p. 34).
- "Being a lookout is the entry-level position for nine- and ten-year-olds in the
drug trade. It is the job of a lookout to warn dealers when police are in the area. For
this, they can make ;up to $100 a day and be rewarded with a pair of fashionable sneakers,
a bomber jacket, or a bicycle" (Berger, 1989, p. 35).
- "Being a runner is the next step up the ladder for ambitious young teenagers who
want to succeed in the drug trade. The job can pay up to $300 a day. The runner transports
the drugs to the dealers on the street. In the case of crack, the youngster takes the drug
from the makeshift factories, where cocaine powder is cooked into rock-hard crack, to the
dealers" (Berger, 1989, p. 36).
- "Youngsters in the drug culture are often completely on their own. Family members
may be living apart or may be dead....Seventy-two percent of the boys and girls in a
correctional institute study said they had grown up without one or both parents"
(Berger, 1989, p. 37).
- "As a source of income, dealing is especially attractive to low-income,
disadvantaged youth. With few other possibilities for employment and troubling family
situations, many embark on a career of drug dealing" (Berger, 1989, p. 45).
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