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Wild-Eyed Liberals

The AP has a story — Expanding drug treatment: Is US ready to step up? by David Crary — about treatment, its relative value compared to enforcement, and how states are hesitant to, as Scott Burns says, “put their money where their mouth is.”

As is often the case in articles like this one, plenty of mention is given to the fact that treatment saves money.

The economic case for expanding treatment, especially amid a recession, seems clear. Study after study concludes that treating addicts, even in lengthy residential programs, costs markedly less than incarcerating them, so budget-strapped states could save millions.

However, what’s always missing is the rather obvious corollary that the money needed for expanding treatment could come from enforcement budgets, rather than needing new funds.

Nobody is willing to actually talk about that part.

One of those in the article pushing for more emphasis on treatment dollars (without calling for less emphasis on anything else) is deputy drug czar Tom McLellan.

McLellan, insisting he’s not “a wild-eyed liberal,” said expanding treatment wouldn’t negate the war on drugs.

“Law enforcement is necessary, but it’s not sufficient,” he said.

Interesting that a man appointed by a Democrat would feel it necessary to claim that he’s not a “wild-eyed liberal” holding positions like that held by William F. Buckley, Jr., Ron Paul, Walter Cronkite, all those former cops and judges in Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, clergy in the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative, Republican mother Jessica Corry, my parents, and so many others from all walks of life.

Wild-eyed liberals?

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12 comments to Wild-Eyed Liberals

  • paul

    Pot smokers do not need court-mandated treatment any more than beer drinkers need counseling to get them to stop their evil ways.

    Replacing prison with drug treatment would be an improvement, sort of, but adding drug treatment without removing prison would be just another dumb liberal program that wastes money without producing tangible results. How about something like this:

    Legalize drugs. Sell them in pharmacies behind the counter where IDs can be checked and health advice offered.

    Offer treatment of heroin, meth, or cocaine addiction as a 100% voluntary program to people who really want the help.

    Close 50% of the prisons. Close the drug courts. Free non-violent drug offenders from prison, parole, and probation.

    End the DEA. Fire Sheriff Joe Arapio and other clowns like him. Shut down most of the SWAT teams, no knock raids, drug sniffing dogs, anti-drug police units, narcotics units, and the rest of the drug war machinery.

    End drug foreign eradication policies. Cease funding foreign military and para military forces helping in the drug war.

    Save Mexico!

  • DdC

    I’ll toke to that!

  • Amen and hallelujah Paul! Praise the lord and pass the bong…

    I see the prohibs becoming increasingly embarassing… in that they are totally intellectually challenged. When one includes in the discussion of the drug war, the harms – that litany of names we know far too well – wrought by the WO(s)D, there is no honest conclusion other than a condemnation of failure. Costs? tremendous… Benefits? none… unless you include the perspective of the cartel businessmen and women. Any industry in the world would be glad to have an 8% chunk of total global trade. And… I suppose we otta include the domestic criminal justice industry as a beneficiary, a lot of tax dollars going down that rat hole…

    There is also an ethical abyss that swallows any logic in their arguments defending the drug war. Denying us our due and our voice lasted for awhile… but with the light we have collectively brought to the issue, we are no longer an insignificant background noise.

    And I just have to add, they’re a pack of punks. Let’s see ’em debate. Cole v Kerlikowske… Bennett v bennett (lol! I like this match up!)… Guither v Barthwell… etc, etc.

    For some reason the image of the Frankenstein villagers just came to mind… pitchforks and torches and lots of attitude. And Marty Feldman of course.

    OT! Saw John Cleese on tour the other night. Great! If you get a chance see his show, do it. Brilliant… and funny as hell.

  • Until it becomes clear that the WoD is morally wrong and not just a question of efficiency those points won’t be made.

    We have to get to a point where defending WoD-jobs becomes as embarrasing as saying:

    “I’ve worked 20 years on segregation and I really feel it’s extremely important to separate whites and blacks, and it would just be a slippery slope if we allowed the blacks to sit anywhere in the busses. Sure, law enforcement isn’t a sufficient tool, but it’s definitely necessary to punish the blacks for their crimes´. I mean, they’re just culturally different and don’t have the same tradition as whites do. If we capitulate we’ll see a total degeneration of our culture.”

  • kaptinemo

    “However, what’s always missing is the rather obvious corollary that the money needed for expanding treatment could come from enforcement budgets, rather than needing new funds.

    Nobody is willing to actually talk about that part.”

    The time for that is running out. Those whose grasp of economics is no better than that of a 6 year old with a piggy bank will soon be overtaken by the monstrous effects of a ‘service’ economy’ which produces very little durable goods to sell and can no longer afford the imports that we’ve allowed in so that foreigners would buy our (mushrooming) debt.

    Those foreigners are now actively looking to divest themselves of their increasingly worthless dollars. ‘Balance of trade’ is not a diaphanous concept but something that’s very real and hurts people…as does inflation causing by fractional banking. The writing’s been on the wall for decades, but few American pols wanted to read it, and now we face financial Armageddon as a result.

    It’s not a matter of choice, anymore. The inexorably slow grind of the mills of the economic gods are reducing the country’s fiscal options into fine dust. Triage is in order to save what can be saved, and get rid of what was never that important to the nation’s welfare to begin with.

    Like the DrugWar. And so the issue of resource allocation will eventually arise. The question is, will it come before a fall…or after?

  • Duncan

    People like to act as if ‘treatment’ is somehow a better experience than jail. I’ve been to both, and quite frankly I’d rather be incarcerated than to have idiots that have the sophistication of medieval doctors using jars of leeches to cure the plague playing with my head. Using force is wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • @Duncan: I hear you, and it’s one of those things that may come back to bite us all later. Lots of politicians looking for reform have an unfounded belief in the efficacy of treatment. I’m afraid that if they don’t update those views too they might easily become disillusioned later and conclude that “well, they just didn’t listen, and Mom’s been in the kitchen all day cooking up treatment, and if they won’t enter treatment voluntarily AND get well we’re just gonna have to use force … prohibition style!”

    I think the old guard of treatment “professionals” have to largely go. They won’t be up to the task in a world where they can’t get clients referred by the criminal justice system, and they won’t have the philosophical stance to comprehend what’s really needed of them.

  • claygooding

    You have too give the industrial prison stockholders time to procure and staff the treatment centers,after all,we will be taking some of their money from them if we release all the non-violent victimless criminals and we have to allow the banks time to figure out where they can replace the income they lose because they won’t be laundering cartel money anymore. And time for the pharmaceutical companies to sell off most of their sleeping pills,mood elevator pills and others that will be affected.
    After all,they are the ones running this country and what we the people want is secondary to what big industry wants.

  • R.O.E.

    Amen Paul !

    Hey Kaptinemo, remeber when walmart was all ..”Buy American-Sell American”? What happened to that? America was sold out thats what happened. Many of us back then was warning everyone what would happen.

    We are giving warning again.

    END THE DRUG WAR OR ELSE!

  • kaptinemo

    R.O.E. the answer is in one word: tariffs.

    Like as not, tariffs against imports forced American industries to fill the gap, and produce their own versions of foreign goods. Remove those, and cheap imports flood the market and destroy domestic productivity, with the consequent destruction of domestic living standards, since foreign labor is cheap unless unionized. Which is partly why unions were destroyed here, so the average American would have to compete with foreign labor.

    And it’s happening all over again.

  • […] Guither caught this strange quote from deputy drug czar Tom McClellan in an AP story about expanding drug […]

  • Enough with the taxes already. We have no more money to pay for government programs.