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

Monday, August 15, 2005

Former Seattle Police Chief Says War on Drugs Must End

(Published in the Drug War Chronicle, 8/12/05)

Drug War Chronicle: What are you calling for in terms of drug policy? . . .

Chief Norm Stamper: I believe it is time for a radical overhaul of the nation's drug laws. It's time to get out of the business of drug enforcement as we know it. The drug war has been an abysmal failure, causing more damage than it has prevented. In the book's chapter on drug policy, I wrote that I favored 'decriminalization,' but if we go to another printing, it's one of two or three things I will revise. What I really meant was legalization and regulation. I don't think the government should get completely out of the business -- it should set standards for purity and regulate the business the same way it regulates alcohol and tobacco. Some people say you can't legalize heroin or meth or PCP, and in the book I took the position that PCP should stay illegal. But upon reflection, even though there are real problems with using some of these drugs, I think everything an adult wants to ingest, inhale, or inject should in fact be available to him or her. "

"Those invested in the drug war continue to use their own propaganda to advance the cause of drug enforcement. . . ."

"....but then I moved to progressive Seattle to be chief, where I could say things like this. But if I were chief in, say, Orange County, California, I might be committing political suicide by advocating for significant drug reform."

"....but there is no justification for tearing up somebody's home or business on a drug raid. The lack of civility that too often accompanies these raids is very counterproductive. It does nothing but further the mistrust, suspicion, and objections so many citizens have to police practices."

(And this is why we, in Christchurch - who wax lyrical about walking the talk, must have this community conversation too. /Blair)
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