T Nation

War on Drugs Takes Hit


[u]War on drugs takes hit[/u]
Congress approves cuts to money for drug eradication programs
By STACY L. NEITZEL
Glasgow Daily Times
Deep cuts last week by the federal government to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program have left drug task force operations nationwide in peril.

Congress approved the Omnibus Appropriations bill, signed into law by President Bush, which cut funding for drug eradication programs by nearly 68 percent.

Slashed by $350 million, only $170 million has been budgeted for 2008. That number is down from $520 million last year. The grant funds 14 drug task force units statewide, including the Barren-Edmonson DTF.

In an e-mail to law enforcement agencies, Ronald E. Brooks, president of the National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition, called it �??the worst crisis facing drug law enforcement since the creation of the NNOAC.�??

�??This budget may succeed in killing drug enforcement programs in most parts of the country,�?? Brooks said.

�??It�??s going to hurt everybody,�?? Jeff Scruggs, director of the Barren-Edmonson County DTF said. Scruggs said smaller agencies like his will struggle to stay in business.

The Byrne JAG grant covers around 75 percent of operational costs for the Barren-Edmonson DTF, while local participating municipalities make up the remaining 25 percent through a match grant. Currently, Glasgow, Cave City, and Barren and Edmonson counties pay roughly $9,500 into the task force, in addition to providing for and paying the salary and benefits of an officer assigned to the agency.

If the local municipalities are left to make up the difference in the wake of massive federal cuts, that number could balloon to as much as an estimated $40,000 each, Scruggs said.

Now in its fifth year of operation, the drug task force opens between 200 and 300 felony drug cases annually. Without adequate funding and resources, many of the task forces will be made to rely on money obtained through seizures and property forfeitures to remain operational.

Scruggs said forfeitures provide an unreliable means of revenue since the money it generates fluctuates year-to-year, depending on the number of cases worked and property awarded. He says he is frustrated by the shortfall and the unenviable task law enforcement agencies face in order to continue serving the public while in the midst of a financial crisis.

�??We�??re going to have to look to our Congressmen for help,�?? he said.

A spokesperson for Republican Senator Senator Mitch McConnell�??s office said Friday, McConnell understands the importance of the Edward Byrne Memorial JAG program and voted to ensure that the final bill more than doubled the President�??s original budget request.

Likewise, Congressman Ron Lewis ® said he is aware of the hardship placed on smaller agencies by recent cuts by the federal government and will seek funding to assist in continuing law enforcement efforts throughout the commonwealth.

�??The Byrne JAG Grant is an important program for Kentucky and I remain supportive of the services these grants provide. While the 2008 federal budget is particularly tight, I am disappointed that the Appropriations Committee did not make this program a higher funding priority. I will continue to fight, through this and other federal programs, to ensure that local law enforcement have the resources and support they need to keep our communities safe,�?? Lewis said.

With the state now facing a budget deficit of its own, Scruggs said he is not optimistic about the ability of state lawmakers to intervene and offer financial assistance.

�??Once you throw that stone in the pond it ripples all the way to the banks and that�??s kind of what this has done,�?? he said.

I’d much rather see entitlements cut before law enforcement. But then again, the drug policy in this country is kind of ridicoulous.

Wooohooo!!! This is good news. The budget should be zero and the program eradicated all together. I rather fill up the jails with molesters, rapists and murderers. Really, who gives a shit about drugs. The policies have more than failed, they made it worse and it’s time for them to go away.

End prohibition

I agree, if you want to do the shit, go for it. BUT!!! If it fucks up your life, I dont want to foot the bill. You should sign a waiver that says "I (insert name) want to do (insert drug), but if I fuck up my life I wont get on wellfare or foodstamps or live off of others in any shape, form, or fashion.

It is F–KING up a lot of peoples lives right now and we are or are not taking care of them. I think the money we use for incarceration of these people could help rehabilitate them if they so desire . I have a friend recently that went to a rehab and the bill exceeded $50,000

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
It is F–KING up a lot of peoples lives right now and we are or are not taking care of them. I think the money we use for incarceration of these people could help rehabilitate them if they so desire . I have a friend recently that went to a rehab and the bill exceeded $50,000[/quote]

I heard the drugs in rehab are even better then the pedestrian black market.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
pittbulll wrote:
It is F–KING up a lot of peoples lives right now and we are or are not taking care of them. I think the money we use for incarceration of these people could help rehabilitate them if they so desire . I have a friend recently that went to a rehab and the bill exceeded $50,000

I heard the drugs in rehab are even better then the pedestrian black market.[/quote]

Never being to one puts me at a disadvantage , but I would not be surprised that some of the rehabs had other motivations other than helping people

You want drug decriminalization? Vote Ron Paul…

I want to be a crack whore when I grow up.

I vaguely recall a quote (from a President?) wherein “it costs taxpayers more to jail a criminal than it would to send him for a Harvard education.”

Bloody waste of money.

“Ending prohibition” and legalizing drugs doesn’t help much either. It gives incentive for owners of profitable drug rehab centers to also invest in the production and distribution of recreational drugs and vice versa.

Can you imagine the potential profit?

Just make harsher punishments for dealers while simultaneously engineering social conditions that prevent drug use.

ElbowStrike

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:
I vaguely recall a quote (from a President?) wherein “it costs taxpayers more to jail a criminal than it would to send him for a Harvard education.”

Bloody waste of money.

“Ending prohibition” and legalizing drugs doesn’t help much either. It gives incentive for owners of profitable drug rehab centers to also invest in the production and distribution of recreational drugs and vice versa.

Can you imagine the potential profit?

Just make harsher punishments for dealers while simultaneously engineering social conditions that prevent drug use.

ElbowStrike[/quote]

I can imagine the profit.

Very little.

Cocain and Heroin, without the costs of the prohibition would cost next to nothing, and excrasy pill costs cents to make.

Now the profits are high, then they would approach the market average, like they inevitably must.

Private rehab centers might make a killing though, shifting costs from the public to the persons responsible.

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:
I vaguely recall a quote (from a President?) wherein “it costs taxpayers more to jail a criminal than it would to send him for a Harvard education.”

Bloody waste of money.

“Ending prohibition” and legalizing drugs doesn’t help much either. It gives incentive for owners of profitable drug rehab centers to also invest in the production and distribution of recreational drugs and vice versa.

Can you imagine the potential profit?

Just make harsher punishments for dealers while simultaneously engineering social conditions that prevent drug use.

ElbowStrike[/quote]

People who want to do drugs do them anyway despite the law. Little would change if prohibition were to end. It’d just be safer is about it.
If drugs were legal, would you run out and be a coke head?

[quote]pat36 wrote:
ElbowStrike wrote:
I vaguely recall a quote (from a President?) wherein “it costs taxpayers more to jail a criminal than it would to send him for a Harvard education.”

Bloody waste of money.

“Ending prohibition” and legalizing drugs doesn’t help much either. It gives incentive for owners of profitable drug rehab centers to also invest in the production and distribution of recreational drugs and vice versa.

Can you imagine the potential profit?

Just make harsher punishments for dealers while simultaneously engineering social conditions that prevent drug use.

ElbowStrike

People who want to do drugs do them anyway despite the law. Little would change if prohibition were to end. It’d just be safer is about it.
If drugs were legal, would you run out and be a coke head? [/quote]

Hey, I can´t wait to shoot heroin, the only thing that is stopping me is the price of it.

The people who think that way do so because of a pop-economic view of things.

Lower pricer lead to more demand- Sure but some prices are very elastic and others aren´t.

If yak shit became infinitely cheaper tomorrow I still would not buy it or inject it.

[quote]ElbowStrike wrote:
I vaguely recall a quote (from a President?) wherein “it costs taxpayers more to jail a criminal than it would to send him for a Harvard education.”

Bloody waste of money.

“Ending prohibition” and legalizing drugs doesn’t help much either. It gives incentive for owners of profitable drug rehab centers to also invest in the production and distribution of recreational drugs and vice versa.

Can you imagine the potential profit?

Just make harsher punishments for dealers while simultaneously engineering social conditions that prevent drug use.

ElbowStrike[/quote]

There is no solution but we can make improvements. We do need to reevaluate each drug and adjust its legality based on its addictiveness and effects. Locking up people for pot is a waste.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

There is no solution but we can make improvements. We do need to reevaluate each drug and adjust its legality based on its addictiveness and effects. Locking up people for pot is a waste. [/quote]

Agree w/ Zap on this proposal.

But you would have to be crazy to want substances like meth and heroin cheap and readily available to all of the idiots in this country. They do enough stupid shit sobre.

One of the worst things the war on drugs did was to try to equate all drugs as the same. Now, some people who want to legalize all drugs are making the same mistake.

Oxycontin is legal and highly regulated. Look at the damage it did in some communities in KY, TN, VA, and WV.

Can you imagine if it was sold over the counter? Can you imagine if meth was sold over the counter?

[quote]new2training wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

There is no solution but we can make improvements. We do need to reevaluate each drug and adjust its legality based on its addictiveness and effects. Locking up people for pot is a waste.

Agree w/ Zap on this proposal.

But you would have to be crazy to want substances like meth and heroin cheap and readily available to all of the idiots in this country. They do enough stupid shit sobre.

One of the worst things the war on drugs did was to try to equate all drugs as the same. Now, some people who want to legalize all drugs are making the same mistake.

Oxycontin is legal and highly regulated. Look at the damage it did in some communities in KY, TN, VA, and WV.

Can you imagine if it was sold over the counter? Can you imagine if meth was sold over the counter?

[/quote]

OMG that would be like legalizing the DEMON ALCOHOL!!!

[quote]orion wrote:

OMG that would be like legalizing the DEMON ALCOHOL!!!

[/quote]

Seems oxycontin is more addictive and destructive on a per user basis. Anyone have any statistics? (not that they will tell the whole story)

[quote]orion wrote:
OMG that would be like legalizing the DEMON ALCOHOL!!![/quote]

Alright, equating meth and alcohol is simply retarded. The addictive potential of meth versus alcohol differs in orders of magnitude. Chronic meth use does more damage in a year than a lifetime of alcohol abuse. They do not compare in the least.

Pot on the other hand would be a fair comparison.

As Zap said, each drug should be evaluated individually.

ElbowStrike

[quote]orion wrote:
new2training wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

There is no solution but we can make improvements. We do need to reevaluate each drug and adjust its legality based on its addictiveness and effects. Locking up people for pot is a waste.

Agree w/ Zap on this proposal.

But you would have to be crazy to want substances like meth and heroin cheap and readily available to all of the idiots in this country. They do enough stupid shit sobre.

One of the worst things the war on drugs did was to try to equate all drugs as the same. Now, some people who want to legalize all drugs are making the same mistake.

Oxycontin is legal and highly regulated. Look at the damage it did in some communities in KY, TN, VA, and WV.

Can you imagine if it was sold over the counter? Can you imagine if meth was sold over the counter?

OMG that would be like legalizing the DEMON ALCOHOL!!!

[/quote]

Orion, you are much smarter than that. Equating Alcohol and Meth is borderline retarded.

Don’t think in absolutes. There is a whole spectrum of colors out there.