That so-called Third Way

Strong article in the Atlantic by Jeff Deeney: To Stay Out of Jail, Must Nonviolent Offenders Submit to Medical Diagnoses?

The following passage, I think, really points out the problem that we’ve been railing about with the so-called “third way” that’s been heavily promoted by ONDCP and S.A.M.

Criminal justice policy reformers say that when courts flood the drug treatment centers with the kinds of drug offenders who more often get arrested, the outcome is no longer a system for treating drug addicts who want help with their drug problems. Instead, the treatment system becomes an extensive community-based surveillance network whose primary purpose is to monitor the behavior of people who are primarily black and poor. In fact, as some sociologists have argued, this changes the definition of what a drug problem is and who requires treatment. This suits perfectly the needs of a justice system that refuses to decriminalize drugs, but now has to put offenders somewhere other than jail.

Exactly. And the use of treatment as an arm of the criminal justice system may be good for treatment’s financial bottom line, but it’s not good for those who need treatment. And as the article goes on to demonstrate, the system is still heavily skewed in terms of class and race.

Another question is what happens with those who don’t need treatment. In the article ONDCP spokesperson Rafael LeMaitre attempts to reassure us:

Lemaitre, though, stands by the justice system’s referral policies for those with disorders, saying people don’t get sent to drug programs if they don’t have real drug problems.

Oh, really? I find that very hard to believe, particularly when treatment programs are getting paid for accepting people, and there’s a strong incentive to admit to having a drug problem in order to stay out of jail. After all, the one group people like LeMaitre never will discuss is those nonviolent low-level drug offenders with no drug problem. Because then he’d have to answer what this touted “third-way” does for them.

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31 Responses to That so-called Third Way

  1. jean valjean says:

    have a horrible feeling we re going to see a cruxifiction today

  2. claygooding says:

    The results of adapting the 3rd will be the same as the first. There will still be drugs in every town in America,our prisons will still continue housing the poor and another industry gets rich off taxpayers footing the bill in a quest for Utopia where nobody gets high or daydreams.
    Except on FDA approved substances that you must pay a membership fee to a doctor,door charges to the pharmacist and dealer prices to a pharmaceutical company or booze maker.
    I think I will opt out on this plan just like I did the first one.

  3. jean valjean says:

    the atlantics comments seriously needs some input from non-prohibs

  4. Night of The Living Feds says:


    How can anyone argue that our Federal government has not run amuck? Here’s a tutorial from the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response on the subject of Zombie Preparedness Yes, yes, yes I see that they have taken the free 30 day promotional trial for a sense of humor. They should demand their money back because it didn’t work.

    PS Poe’s Law was in full effect when I first looked at that page. For a moment I thought that their intent was serious. Now is that any way for a Federal government to treat the citizens? Don’t they understand that their credibility is shot if people can’t differentiate between pure public policy and a frackin’ lame attempt at telling a joke?

  5. Duncan20903 says:


    Just an isolated factoid…my best friend back in the early 1990 got busted for dealing cannabis. Not a petty arrest, the cops stole almost $130,000 from his apartment. He went away for almost 5 years. On release they made him do drug rehab. Well guess what — my friend didn’t do any MADs…no pot, no cocaine, no Quaaludes, no drinking alcohol, nada, nothing, zip. Money was his thing.

    (note to self: don’t hide any “drugs” money under the bed)

  6. Duncan20903 says:


    I made my very first comment in Spanish!

    ¿Por qué es que dejes prohibicionistas los parásitos y sus aduladores que venden gato por liebre? Argumentos de esas personas consisten en nada más que mentiras calvo cara, verdades a medias, y la retórica histérica. Usted está siendo tomado por tonto.

    In English:

    Why is it that you let the prohibitionist parasites and their sycophants sell you a bill of goods? Those people’s arguments consist of nothing other than bald faced lies, half truths, and hysterical rhetoric. You’re being played for a fool.

    Wow, Spanish is a very romantic language! I’m kind of surprised that the Spanish word for fool is tonto. The Lone Ranger got some splainin’ to do.

    • DdC says:

      Why is it that you let the prohibitionist parasites and their sycophants sell you a bill of goods? Those people’s arguments consist of nothing other than bald faced lies, half truths, and hysterical rhetoric. You’re being played for a fool.



      פארוואס איז עס אַז איר לאָזן די פּראָהיביטיאָניסט פּעראַסייץ און זייער סיקאָפאַנץ פאַרקויפן איר אַ רעכענונג פון סכוירע? יענע מענטשן ס טענות צונויפשטעלנ פון גאָרנישט אנדערע ווי ליסע פייסט ליגט, העלפט טרוטס, און כיסטעריקאַל מליצות. ניטאָ זייַענדיק געשפילט פֿאַר אַ נאַר.

      Chinese simple



      Nà nǐ wèishéme ràng jìnjiǔ jìshēng chóng hé nìng mài gěi nǐ piào huòwù? Zhèxiē rén dì lùnjù bāokuò shénme tū miàn de huǎngyán, yībàn de zhēnlǐ, hé xiēsīdǐlǐ de yánlùn chúwài. Nǐ zhèngzài bòfàng de shì shǎguā.


      Warum ist es, dass Sie lassen die prohibitionistischen Parasiten und ihre Speichellecker verkaufen Sie eine Rechnung von Waren? Jene Leute, die Argumente bestehen aus nichts anderem als kahl faced Lügen, Halbwahrheiten und hysterische Rhetorik. Du bist für dumm gespielt.


      Whuffo’ is it thet yo’ let th’ prohibishunist pareesites an’ their sycophants sell yo’ a bill of fines? Them varmints’s argoomnts cornsist of nothin’ other than bald faced lies, ha’f truths, an’ hysterical rheto’ic. Yo’’re bein’ played fo’ a fool, ah reckon.

  7. Servetus says:

    The constitutionality of prohibitionism’s ‘third way’ is questionable, especially when considering potential discrimination and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection of the laws clause.

    For example, diabetics don’t get arrested for being diabetic or neglecting their disease. They aren’t forced into ineffective treatments against their will. People don’t suffer a social death simply because they’re caught drinking soda from a big gulp container. Citizens understand they have a human right to neglect their own health at their own peril. But that’s not the case with court ordered drug treatments for soft or hard drugs, even when drug taking behavior imperils no one else but the drug consumer. Drug treatment patients often don’t retain the same rights as other medical patients, and that’s a violation of the 14th Amendment.

    Prohibitionists want to maintain the stigma associated with drugs, when in fact it’s arrests and irrational stigmatization, among other things, that are causing an end to the war on some drugs. The prohibs will never get it. They’ve spent their lives cowering before authoritarians, so they see no other possible option but totalitarian coercion. The third way is a façade for business as usual in the drug war.

    • War Vet says:

      Then let’s stigmatize the courts, drug warriors, politicians and 3rd wayers. People who don’t want legalized drugs want 9/11 (as evident in the fact pre-9/11 attacks occurred with drug money, and thus they were warned, educated on the cause and effect and given a choice and they chose 9/11 and terrorism). People who don’t want legalized drugs want a crippled economy as seen when the War on Narco-Terror (according to Brown University and the NY Times) will ultimately cost America $5-6 Trillion dollars and let’s be real: the War on Narco-Terror was the straw that broke the camel’s back. People who don’t want legal drugs hate America’s troops and vets, since it’s illegal drug money that forces us to fight and which fights us . . . these types are people who spit on the flag and poke fun at grieving widows. Because drug money created 9/11 and finances our enemies, many dead soldiers killed by drug money are greeted by the hatefule Westboro Baptist Church members, which means all prohibis are aligned with the Westboro Baptist Church since prohibis are the ones killing our troops . . . without prohibs, there’d be no church protests on dead troops, so they work hand in hand. If obeying the law creates the effect of illegal drug money in the hands of terrorists, then all who obey the law are radical terrorists by consequence . . . current events proves that.

  8. Uncle Albert's Nephew says:

    Drug court is a case of the prohibitionists wanting to have their urine cup and drink it too.

  9. thelbert says:

    i wonder if kerlikopfski ever worked at the florida school for boys?

  10. stlgonzo says:

    Colorado State Officials: DOJ Has Given ‘Tacit Approval’ For Legalized Marijuana

  11. Obama Does Not Support Changes To Medical Marijuana Laws ‘At This Point,’ White House Says

    Now house republicans want to drug test food stamps. The war on drugs rages on. Public opinion is against this especially for marijuana. We need to get tough on Washington to the same degree the tough on crime crowd still does. The third way is chutes and ladders back to square one – drug war. 2016.

    • allan says:

      nice to see the question has been raised 2 days in a row.

      nice to see Doc Gupta’s CNN report had an effect.

      Sad to see MPP saying “it’s good to see” regarding cannabis or drug policy statements coming from the WH. As others have said, shuffling chairs on the Titanic.

      • nadelmann has been hawking the treatment over incarceration bullshit for quite some time — so they gave him what he’s been asking for (job security). kampia is a complete jackass who doesn’t really give a shit about anything other than himself.

        the sooner those interested in true reform recognize that the “leaders” are useless jackasses, the faster we finally get to the finish line.

        keep following the “leaders” and we stay on the fucking merry-go-round.

  12. Jean Valjean says:

    If you want to see democracy disappearing as we watch, check out the front page of HP right now 6pm. Scroll down, it’s one long catalog of abuse by our corporate government, starting of course with the drug war.

    • claygooding says:

      your link just goes to the front page and no article jumps out at me as being what you describe,,do you have a title of the article?

      • Jean Valjean says:

        it was the WHOLE front page at 6pm EST. Led with Obama on mmj, followed by Bradley Manning 35 years, and then a sequence of 7 or 8 stories illustrating how we’re getting screwed by those who really wield power in this society, like the Bush family, the banks, the torturers,the NSA and on and on…

  13. Howard says:

    The Atlantic article reminds me of a short documentary I saw many years ago (I believe broadcast by the BBC). It was the story of a young single British mother who happened to be addicted to heroin. Her addiction was a bit unusual in that she used only once a day. Of course, she acquired her fix from street dealers and all the hazards that go with that process. If I remember correctly, she came to the attention of researchers studying addiction. But instead of trying to help her cure her addiction, they offered to sell her the daily fix she needed, thereby bypassing the street dealers she depended on. An amazing thing happened (maybe not so amazing?). Once she was able to procure heroin from a reliable and trusted source, away from the hazards of the street, she eventually settled into an apartment and got a job. Her children, who had been staying with relatives, returned to her. All the while she continued to do heroin once a day. By all means, she appeared normal and well adjusted. Her employer and co-workers did not know she was a heroin user (albeit a ‘light’ one). Unfortunately for her, at some point through election results, a new regime replaced the more lenient one that allowed this experiment to take place. The experiment was abruptly halted. You can guess what happened: She returned to the street for her daily heroin. She eventually lost her job (and her apartment) and her kids went back to living with relatives. The addiction researchers eventually lost touch with her.

    That’s the gist of the story. There are likely important details I’ve left out. I haven’t been able to find a link to the story but if I stumble across it I’ll post it.

    • Jean Valjean says:

      and that’s a 100% successful outcome for the prohibitionists…

    • strayan says:

      This sound familiar?

      One of the most attractive was a young woman named Juliette who had been an addict for 13 years. She came from a middle-class background, married a rich kid who got her into heroin, then left her with two kids and no money. She tried desperately to kick but couldn’t make it. Somehow for ten years she managed to stay afloat through petty theft and prostitution, with the authorities breathing down her neck. Finally, terrified that they were about to take her kids away, she happened to find the right doctor and he sent her to John Marks. Marks gave her a check-up, satisfied himself that she was indeed a heroin addict, and wrote her a prescription for a week’s supply.

      “For the first time in ten years,” she said, “I had spare time. I didn’t have to worry that my dealer wouldn’t show — I didn’t have to worry about the price or where to steal the money. So for the first time in ten years, I had a minute to look in the mirror. I looked and I said, `Oh, my God.’ Then I looked at the kids, and I said, `What have I done?’ All these middle-class values came flooding back in on me.

  14. Sunil Kumar Aggarwal has accused the DEA and the Government of trying to corner the market on marijuana for GW. He says “If people understood that this decision to allow only ‘the few’ to legitimately produce cannabis rather than ‘the many’ was being made on their behalf, perhaps they would be compelled to stand up for a right that is essential for all: to farm and cultivate members of the Plant Kingdom in your locality.”


    • allan says:

      Thanks TC, good stuff from Doc Sunil, again… tha’s what I’m talking about. The truth is a big bat and there’s some factual beat down way over due.

      The truth gets uglier and they’re not liking the lights being turned on.

      And this isn’t an issue that… oh… you know, we can take years figuring out. American citizens are under attack from police forces across the country daily. 150 SWAT raids a day according to Radley.

      PharmaCorp.Gov indeed…

    • strayan says:

      ‘Aggarwal on fire yo’ as I imagine one of Jesse Pinkman’s friends would say.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Things aren’t looking so good for Mr. White. I expect the Feds will have to put an extreme amount of effort to get Jesse to snitch, and may not succeed. Mrs. White not so much, but Hank is going to have to deal with an existential crisis over that part.

        But I’ve taken away a some wisdom…don’t start cooking meth if you’re brother-in-law is a D.E.A. agent. Also, don’t partner up with somebody who you refer to as “Mister”. Well unless you call him Mr. X. 🙂

        I suppose there was just no way the series was going to end with everyone living happily ever after.

  15. strayan says:

    On mandatory ‘treatment’ (by my new favourite psychologist):

    The individual has to pretend he has a drug problem so that he can avoid going to jail. He then has to pretend to cooperate with the therapist because lack of cooperation could get him sent to jail. The therapist gets paid for her time, which provides an incentive to maintain the charade. Eventually, the client is deemed cured and has succeeded in avoiding jail by undergoing the lesser punishment of pretend therapy. Some people may actually benefit from the process by dealing better with various aspects of their lives, but this is hardly a justification for undermining the institution of therapy by making therapist and client coconspirators in a lie.

  16. Irie says:

    Does anyone know about this?

    RAID UPDATE: Three raids confirmed in Detroit, one in Warren; Ann Arbor raid follows Walled Lake and Ypsilanti federal actions. For the third time in three weeks, DEA agents have executed a state-issued warrant and raided a Michigan medical marijuana dispensary. In a seemingly unrelated series of actions, Detroit area dispensaries have seen at least four raids on distribution centers within the past week- including one in the city of Warren. –

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