Washblog

Another failure in the drug war

I'm not sure how much more evidence we as a society will need before we realize that the drug seizure strategy is not working.

The Olympian notes that a recent 8 week study shows 24.8% of men and 26.2% of women arrested and booked in Snohomish county have methamphetamine in their system

Are we actually cleaning up the streets with our current drug-war policy, or did we just transfer a problem and actually create a huge welfare state within the state department of corrections?

More in the story reveals why we as a society are asking the wrong questions.

''I do think meth drives a criminal lifestyle more than any other drug,'' Lynnwood Police Chief Steve Jensen said.

    ''Marijuana is king, it's number one, but meth is toxic,'' Sheriff Rick Bart said. ''The pot smokers and coke addicts are a problem, but the big difference we see with meth is people will do anything to get it.''

Meth, or Ice - is some messed up stuff. I know how it can screw up someone. I have had close relatives of mine use it and ruin their lives over it. But look at the cost, to us the taxpaying citizen, to fight this battle over a drug user and their insatiable need to get a fix, versus how Denmark treats their addicts - what Thehim rightly calls 'harm reduction'.

Vancouver, BC is fighting to continue to develop harm reduction clinics, and they are showing how a new way of thinking toward drug abuse can actually save us taxpayers money, and give us more security than the Nancy Reagan 80's 'just say no' version.

The safe-injection site is only one part of the harm reduction strategy that needs to be addressed by the federal government, according to site operators.

"Obviously this is good news," said Mark Townsend, community worker with the Portland Hotel Society, one of the groups operating the site. "But it is not just about a supervised injection site."

Townsend hopes further inspection by the federal government will open the window for other harm-reduction programs, such as pre-tox beds, which are made available to drug users waiting for space in detox clinics.

He also hopes federal representatives, including Harper, will visit Insite to witness first-hand the part it plays in reducing crime and preventing drug-related illness and death.

America seems to love to try the same tactics to solve a problem over and over, until enough death and carnage develops that it simply just cannot be ignored anymore. We are approaching that tipping point in our ill-thought 'drug war'.

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