There’s a whole lot going on right now in drug policy, so I’m going to give you some more links and reading.
In an unusual hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the expansion of federal drugs laws, saying the large number of federal drug cases necessitated an expansion of the federal judiciary that had diluted its quality.
“It was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts,” he told the committee, adding that routine drug cases belong in state courts, where the vast majority of criminal cases are heard.
If you missed the excellent Prohibition series by Ken Burns, you can watch it online at PBS
While most of the media coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada decision to protect the status of Insite from the Harper government’s attempts to shut it down, there were a few ridiculous nay-sayers, such as the editorial board of the Toronto Sun: What Have Judges Been Smoking?
The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to legalize shooting galleries for junkies, thereby making them exempt from laws covering the trafficking, possession, and use of illegal drugs, makes us wonder if these judges had been smoking the drapes.
It was not a rational decision.
It opens the door to legalized drug dens across the country, leaving Prime Minister Stephen Harper unable to even trigger the Notwithstanding Clause in the Charter to stop this insanity from advancing. […]
How the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, could be conned into believing the Insite project “saved lives and improved health without increasing the incidence of drug use and crime in the surrounding area” should be absolutely mind boggling to the vast majority of Canadians. […]
Canada will rue this day.
Julio Montaner sets the record straight in this OpEd in the National PostThe science is in, Insite saves lives
A nice, introductory article to The Economics of Drug Prohibition
Not only does prohibition increase the marginal benefits of violence, but it also decreases the marginal cost of violence.
Some coverage of the recent federal crackdown
“They’re wasting money they don’t have,” [Sen. Mark] Leno said. “This is not the issue of the day. This doesn’t create jobs. This does not keep the security of the nation intact. It doesn’t clean the environment.”
Kevin Sabet, former senior adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said that marijuana legalization advocates had “misread the tea leaves” when they predicted that Obama would be friendly to their policies.
As for using marijuana as medicine, Sabet said the proper path should be one where components of marijuana are studied and possibly approved by the Food & Drug Administration for use in pharmaceuticals.
â€œThis really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The administration is simply making good on multiple threats issued since President Obama took office,â€ said Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to the president’s drug czar.
Kevin Sabet is everywhere. Clearly on a big recent push to get media coverage as part of his career development.
If you’re interested in more Kevin Sabet, he’s interviewed in a podcast by Sylvia Longmire at Mexico’s Drug War blog. I’ve just recently learned about Longmire and while I’d consider her far from being on the side of us “legalizers” (though she does support legalizing marijuana), I’ve found her to have an open mind and willingness to learn and be persuaded, so please keep that in mind if you choose to comment at her blog.