Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, March 18, 2005

Seattle Advocates Press for Drug-Policy Reform

<>Current anti-drug policies are ineffective and wasteful, a group of lawyers, drug outreach workers, and people in recovery told Seattle City Council members during a recent meeting.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported March 10 that a group led by the King County Bar Association -- which recently released a report calling for fundamental reform of drug policy -- met with councilman Nick Licata, head of the city council's law-enforcement committee, and other local leaders.

"We really must stop these wasteful practices," said Roger Goodman, an attorney with the King County Bar Association, which called for state regulation of drug sales and manufacture and for addiction to be treated as an illness, not a crime. Former Seattle police Chief Norm Stamper also has called for decriminalizing drugs.

Katherine Beckett of the University of Washington told local lawmakers that blacks make up a disproportionate number of those arrested for drug offenses. "We believe that it is bad public policy to, once these issues have been brought to light, continue to enforce in a racially disparateway," added public defender D'Adre Cunningham.

<>Licata said he agreed with those saying that drug treatment should be favored over law enforcement to cut drug dealing and use. "I want the council to send a strong message to the mayor and the Seattle Police Department," he said. City Attorney Tom Carr defended street-level anti-drug enforcement but also called for more treatment. "It should be the right of a citizen to get whatever treatment they need," he said.

However, he also told those calling for drug-law reform to take their case to higher levels of government. "The city of Seattle has no authority to decriminalize anything," Carr said.
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