HideIt's Techdirt's 20th Anniversary! Check out today's post and yesterday's podcast, plus our limited edition anniversary gear!
HideIt's Techdirt's 20th Anniversary! Check out today's post and yesterday's podcast, plus our limited edition anniversary gear!

DOJ Boss Promises The Return Of Everything That Didn't Work During The Last 40 Years Of Drug Warring

from the throwback-Thursday-now-24/7 dept

Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn't much interested in the "justice" side of the Department of Justice. Instead, it appears he'd like to throw on his letterman's jacket and head back to his glory days as a hard-nosed, 1980s-vintage drug warrior. Things were better when Sessions was a federal prosecutor in Alabama, ringing up drug convictions at a rate four times the national average.

The word "reactionary" is thrown around a lot when describing Trump and his cabinet. But in Sessions' case, the term fits. Violent crimes rates have fallen steadily since the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, drug prices have dropped and purity has increased, despite four decades of harsh enforcement and trillions of dollars being thrown at the problem. Devil weed -- gateway drug and longtime conspirator in the violation of American women by filthy non-whites -- is now a socially and medically-accepted drug, legal in several states.

But there are violent crime increases in a few major cities. He's not sure what's to blame for this potential historical blip, but he has several theories. It might be soft-on-drugs Obama-era policies embraced by his predecessor's DOJ. It might be a lack of respect for law enforcement, which Sessions feels is a failure of the American public, rather than the failures of those who serve them. It might be rambunctious legislators scaling back asset forfeiture all over the country. Whatever it is, the current course needs to be reversed and the policies that failed for multiple decades be allowed to fail again.

Where else would Sessions espouse his "brave new old world" plan than standing over the desiccated corpse of a federally-funded program that did fuck all to curb drug use by teens and tweens: the 30th D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Training Conference.

We were in the beginning of this fight, in 1983, when DARE was founded in Los Angeles. I believe that DARE was instrumental to our success by educating children on the dangers of drug use. I firmly believe that you have saved lives. And I want to say thank you for that. Whenever I ask adults around age 30 about prevention, they always mention the DARE program. Your efforts work. Lives and futures are saved.

Sessions can believe anything he wants about the DARE program, but the fact is it had almost zero impact on reducing drug use by children. Multiple studies of the program suggest zero impact is the best possible outcome. At worst, the program was viewed as ridiculous by students and actually introduced them to substances they weren't previously aware of. It often inspired curiosity. It rarely inspired lifelong abstinence.

But Sessions wants a bigger, better drug war -- one not constrained by logic, compassion, or mountains of evidence showing the war has been a catastrophic failure. Sessions hints we need more violence from our law enforcers because drug dealers are violent.

We know drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun. There is no doubt that violence tends to rise with increased drug dealing.

As Scott Greenfield pointed out, if drugs were legal, you could file a lawsuit to recover debts -- a process far less likely to result in dead bodies.

Stats are spun to fit the narrative:

Sentences for federal drug crimes dropped by 18 percent from 2009 to 2016. Violent crime—which had been decreasing for two decades—suddenly went up again. Two years after this policy change, the United States suffered the largest single-year increase in the overall violent crime rate since 1991.

And yet, the violent crime rate remains at historic lows. Sessions sees a spike as a trend even though the numbers don't agree with him. In another speech, he specifies which year he's referring to:

In 2015, we as a nation suffered the largest single-year increase in the violent crime rate since 1991, and the largest jump in the murder rate since 1968.

But even the FBI can't buttress the AG's dark narrative.

According to the report, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes committed around the nation. While that was an increase from 2014 figures, the 2015 violent crime total was 0.7 percent lower than the 2011 level and 16.5 percent below the 2006 level.

The Sessions Drug War Wagon plows on, focused on preaching to the converted and riling up the most ignorant legislators and voters. At event after event, Sessions does everything but hand out laced Kool Aid and visions of a heavily-policed afterlife. Facts are out; verbal y-axis distortions are in.

The preliminary data for the first half of 2016 showed further increases, with large cities seeing an average increase in murders of nearly 22 percent compared with the same period the year before.

This spike in violent crime is not happening in every neighborhood or city. But the trend is real and should concern us all. It must not continue.

A spike is a trend in the eyes of AG Sessions, whose narrative conflicts with the FBI's findings. This is a spike -- compared year-to-year -- but one that can't even bring crime levels back to where they were a decade ago, much less the sky-high rates of the 80s and 90s when Sessions was prosecuting the hell out of Alabama.

Hence the return of asset forfeiture, presumably with enough force to overcome legislative resistance. From the same speech to the National District Attorneys Association:

In addition, we hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers. With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.

Sessions mentions criminals, but criminal charges have never been an integral part of the forfeiture process. The government likes taking stuff, but has less of an interest in proving the property owner is actually a criminal.

A new era of punitive justice is upon us. One that prefers prosecutions to prevention and harsh sentences to deterrents less likely to permanently ruin someone's life.

I recently sent out my directive on charging and sentencing. It is sound law and policy. Assistant U.S. Attorneys will simply be expected to charge the most serious readily provable offense. If that would be unjust, prosecutors can seek a waiver approval from a designated supervisor without Washington.

In short, we have ended the policies that handcuffed our federal prosecutors.

There will apparently be enough handcuffs for everyone else.

This is a frustrating turn of events. The new DOJ will elevate law enforcement officers and prosecutors above the people they serve. Everything that didn't work for three decades straight will be making a comeback. And if that fails to turn things around, I'm guessing it will be blamed on the media, anti-police sentiment, or whatever convenient scapegoat happens to be on hand when the blowback begins.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    SteveMB (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:35am

    it appears he'd like to throw on his letterman's jacket

    A white robe and hood seems more like the Keebler Drow's fashion sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:11am

      Re:

      Perhaps, but this is different. Trump is complaining about Sessions recusing himself and not shutting down the Russia investigations. Sessions is just trying to re-establish his delusional half-wit street cred required to be part of the Trump team.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:15am

        Re: Re:

        "shutting down the Russia investigations."

        I find it extremely humorous that trump thinks he is allowed to do this. "I'm the king now - do what I say!"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Given that everybody seems to do what he says, it's good to be the king.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The fact he lost the popular vote indicates it is not everybody, I know you did not mean it literally.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2017 @ 9:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You lost, get over it.
              "If they had been playing checkers instead of chess he totally would have lost."

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 9:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Given that everybody seems to do what he says..."

            Who is doing what he says? Healthcare? Nope. Budgets? Nope.

            To call Trump (or any US President) a king is really a joke, unless it is a king that really can't do much.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:36am

    'If reality refuses to justify your desires, simply replace it with a 'reality' that does'

    In 2015, we as a nation suffered the largest single-year increase in the violent crime rate since 1991, and the largest jump in the murder rate since 1968.

    Expanding on the rebuttal to this in the article, the funny thing about steadily decreasing crime rates is that the numbers get smaller and smaller. As a result, the amount needed to cause a 'jump' or a 'spike' tend to get smaller as well. An increase of 10 is barely a blip when you're talking about 1,000 on average, whereas that same amount looks a lot bigger when you shrink the average number to 100.

    Less crime means any increase looks larger, even if it doesn't even remotely compare to historic numbers, meaning running around like a headless chicken and fearmongering as though the streets were running with blood is hardly constructive or realistic.

    No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.

    Cool, great. So then, you'll be all for instituting a federal requirement of conviction before someone loses their stuff, to be sure that it is indeed criminals losing their ill-gotten gains taken from them, rather than merely accused criminals having their property stolen from them?

    I mean, surely someone who claims to be against criminal activity wouldn't recklessly endorse a practice that's been widely abused and is far too often for all intents and purposes theft under cover of authority, right?

    ... no? If someone is accused then that's good enough for you, and if a few innocent people end up robbed by thugs with badges then that's a price you're willing to (have others) pay for your 'law and order' dream?

    Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.

    '... in order to better get around those treasonous state laws that place a higher requirement on forfeitures and/or prohibit the local police from having a very real financial incentive to grab anything that isn't nailed down or on fire(after which they break out the crowbars and fire-extinguishers).'

    In short, we have ended the policies that handcuffed our federal prosecutors.

    No, you just handcuffed them in a different manner by stating that they will go after the charge that will result in the highest possible sentence, with a 'generous' offer that if they don't think doing so would be just then they can ask for a waiver to avoid having to do so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:18am

      Re: 'If reality refuses to justify your desires, simply replace it with a 'reality' that does'

      "No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime."

      "Cool, great. So then, you'll be all for instituting a federal requirement of conviction before someone loses their stuff"


      - Also, you'll be cool with going to jail for all the laws you have broken.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:23am

    I wish the coward Democrats had continued to push Sessions to resign. But now I almost think they're letting them rule freely "so they can show the country how bad Trump's team was" in 2018, which to me sounds like a terrible idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:16am

      Re:

      You've six months to go and the GOP can't govern for toffee because a) they've convinced themselves that government ruins everything it touches and b) as a result they haven't bothered to learn how governance actually works, so c) it's unlikely they'll be able to do much worse than they have so far. You'll survive till the mid-terms, and then, please God you'll be knocking on your neighbours' doors begging them to vote anything but GOP.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:46am

    How much of the violence surrounding drugs is due to the use of SWAT teams to serve and execute search warrants?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      Flash Bangs are the go to weapon when you "fear for your life". Good thing they do not have nukes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re:

        "Fear for your life?" Really? Fshbangs are the go-to weapon when SWAT might come up against a sleeping infant.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re:

        Flash bangs are not what you use when you fear for your life. That would be guns. Flash bangs couldn't possibly kill you unless it goes off right next to you (or sets the place on fire and you die in the fire.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Tell that do the dead infants

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:58pm

          Re: Flash bangs are not what you use when you fear for your life.

          Really? The cop who shot that Australian woman in the US recently claimed he was startled by a loud noise. If that didn’t make him fear for his life, why did he shoot?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:21am

            Re: Re: Flash bangs are not what you use when you fear for your life.

            Lawrence, the question is, why did a loud noise make him shoot an Aussie woman who was talking to him?

            If US cops are perpetually in such abject fear for their lives, they're in the wrong damn job. Surely to goodness the stress engendered by being in a state of fear most or all of the time would pull them apart sooner or later, resulting in time taken off, heart attacks, ulcers, etc. That either happens or it doesn't. If cops don't suffer more from stress-related illnesses than the rest of us do, I think it's reasonable to assume they're using us for target practice because it's bloody hard to get a conviction against them for shooting us.

            Honestly, a stressed-out PTSD-suffering cop should not be let loose on the streets with a gun. He might hurt or even kill someone.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Flash bangs are not what you use when you fear for your life.

              "why did a loud noise make him shoot an Aussie woman who was talking to him?"

              My guess? ... lack of trigger discipline.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 9:26am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Flash bangs are not what you use when you fear for your life.

                His partner was driving. The woman was outside the drivers side door. The cop shot across his partner and out the window, killing the woman.

                How do you think his partner feels about that? I know I wouldn't appreciate having someone stick a gun in front of my face and pull the trigger. Inside a car, that is causing hearing loss. Additionally, it isn't good that someone shoots across you that closely.

                The cop had 2 years on the job. His partner had 1 year on the job.

                Sounds like someone should lose their job at least. You can't convict for a crime, because all the cop has to do is say he feared for his life. Those are the rules. Saying that, this guy, maybe both of them, should not be cops anywhere.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:52am

    "The War on Drugs" is a fucking oxy-MORON and any politician who defends it is a fucking MORON. It has never worked. Not only did it introduce young children to drugs but all it's ever been is a "feel good" policy to make our elected leaders feel good about themselves. DARE is also another joke as is every rights group out there. Million Moms, MADD ... they are all fucking jokes of a failed society. The best educational tool we could have is our parents, our family, NOT the fucking government, preaching to us what they think we should be doing.

    Respect the cops? Nobody respects cops because they are always violating our civil and constitutional rights, suppressing our right to assemble and protest and throwing their weight around like they are God with a gun.

    This is why criminals are always targeting cops with impunity. Long as you have overzealous cops out there victimizing innocent civilians, you will always have civilians targeting cops.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      The war on drugs has worked exactly as planned, just look at the bottom line for the private prison industry. They were a bit concerned about the relaxation found in the prior administration but that has been "taken care of".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:53am

    If all of the assets that were seized through forfeitures went to funding the local county Public Defenders office I bet the number of forfeitures would change dramatically.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:08am

      Two simple changes:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:12am

      Two simple changes:

      (Right, let's try a tab instead of an enter this time...)

      1 - A conviction of the owner, including a finding in court that the property in question was either used in, or was ill-gotten gains resulting from, illegal activity before property is seized.

      2 - Any property/money seized is funneled to the local public defender's office in it's entirety, with not so much as a cent going to the police or government agency involved in the siezure.

      Two simple changes that would all but eliminate asset forfeiture overnight.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      But what about the stock holders?
      Does no one ever think of the poor stock holders?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:54am

    If Trump should fire Sessions...

    Let's all agree that if Trump should fire Sessions, we'll give Trump a free pass. No feverish comparisons to the Watergate "Saturday Night Massacre," etc. I might even send him a bottle of champagne...

    (Trump has repeatedly complained that Sessions let him down by not shutting down the Russia investigations.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:21am

      Re: If Trump should fire Sessions...

      Counterpoint: there are people even worse than Sessions, and Trump knows where to find them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:27am

        Re: Re: If Trump should fire Sessions...

        He'd have to get a majority of Senatos to confirm a new AG. That will be more difficult now than it was in January.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Thad, 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:16am

          Re: Re: Re: If Trump should fire Sessions...

          February.

          And while the Republicans are in disarray on healthcare, I think they're still pretty much all on the same page when it comes to authoritarianism.

          Then again, Sessions is one of them; maybe they'd take it personally if he got fired.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:51pm

        Re: Re: If Trump should fire Sessions...

        Counterpoint: there are people even worse than Sessions, and Trump knows where to find them.

        I don't think Trump has to find them. They find him. They know what kind of person he is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:26am

      Re: If Trump should fire Sessions...

      No one gets a free pass simply because they have some money or influence. The "two sets of rules" is one of the many problems in this country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 4:58am

    His Boss' Comments

    And surely, Trump's constant fear and hate peddling during the 2016 campaign had nothing to do with a spike in violent crimes ... right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:03am

    "...the program was viewed as ridiculous by students and actually introduced them to substances they weren't previously aware of. It often inspired curiosity."

    When I was an adolescent I missed the DARE program. Damn! Damn! Damn! I'm sure there were a few drugs I could have tried if I'd only known about them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:06am

    "Whenever I ask adults around age 30 about prevention, they always mention the DARE program."

    I was under the impression that the DARE program was widely seen as a joke, which largely backfired once the kids got a bit older, saw that the scaremongering over weed was largely false information, and made them aware of what other drugs were out there to try.

    I'm sure nobody's saying this to Sessions' face, but unless I've been talking to an extremely niche cross-section of Americans (possible, given that I usually talk to intelligent Americans with some experience outside of their home town) it's not generally considered a success by those who went through it. Commenters here are free to correct me, of course.

    "We know drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun. There is no doubt that violence tends to rise with increased drug dealing."

    It was said, and is worth repeating - that's an excellent argument for making drugs legal, or at least to go down the route of Portugal. It's a little disturbing that it's apparently being used to push further enforcement instead.

    "In 2015, we as a nation suffered the largest single-year increase in the violent crime rate since 1991, and the largest jump in the murder rate since 1968."

    Which, as mentioned, means nothing without context and data from a few years afterwards. I experienced a nearly 15% rise in my wages last year due to a higher than average annual cost of living raise and a few bonuses.
    That doesn't mean I'm going to get 15% more this year, and certainly doesn't mean that I can go out and buy that boat just yet. I would hope that those in charge also wouldn't make rash decisions based on a single year's data.

    Oh, and since there's an XKCD for everything: https://xkcd.com/605/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ThaumaTechnician (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:20am

    But the War on Drugs DID work.

    People got rich, sadists got to torture and kill people, and people in power got to keep their hookers and blow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chuck, 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:37am

    Maybe it's his fault?

    TFA does a great job breaking down how wrong all of this is. I just wanted to point out two little things:

    1) In 2015 violent crime went up 0.7%. Even though it has been steadily declining under Obama (and to his credit, Dubya before him, and Bill Clinton before him, and Bush Senior before him...), it suddenly starts to climb, however slowly, just as Obama is about to leave office.

    2) In 2016, it had a slight uptick in murders, even though violent crime for 2016 as a whole (at least through September, which is as far as I can find numbers for) was down overall. Still, murders went up steadily as it became more and more obvious (to some) that Trump might seriously have a shot at winning.

    So...my question is this: did it ever occur to Sessions that maybe, just maybe, the spike in violent crime might be HIS fault? Maybe people had been not murderin' and assaultin' and were waiting as long as they could, but then they saw the "tough on crime" republicans might return to power and decided to run go do all their violent crime as quickly as they could, such that they would be charged and sentenced under Obama-era law?

    (Not that it would do them any good. The crimes Obama was "soft" on were things like possession, i.e. non-violent crime anyway. Obama was no more soft on murders and such than any other president, despite Sessions's narrative. But yanno, facts and such.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:54am

    <blockquote>everything that didn't work</blockquote>

    Depends on what your goals are. If you are in law enforcement, your goal is to expand your budget and sphere of influence and importance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      Exactly. They only didn't work if the aim was reducing drug usage. If the actual aim was expanding the for-profit prison population and the police state, disproportionately attacking minorities, expanding CIA involvement in the third world, etc., then it seems to have worked perfectly. It's only the general acceptance and legalisation of marijuana and the increase in meth/prescription drug abuse in white communities that don't seem to have been correctly accounted for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 5:55am

    Here's where this inexorably leads

    There's an interesting case in Baltimore that popped into the news this week. Here's the Baltimore Sun's story:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-body-camera-footage-20170719-story.ht ml

    Here's the short version: in January the cops bust a guy for heroin. Guy goes to jail. He can't make the 50K bail, and he maintains his innocence -- and won't plead out -- so he's there for 6 months.

    Fast-forward. Bodycam footage turns up which shows the arresting officer planting the drugs just prior to the arrest. This only happens because the bodycam saves 30 seconds of video prior to activation. Now all hell is breaking loose, because EVERY SINGLE ARREST by this officer must now be questioned.

    Pop quiz time:

    1. Do you think that this is the first time this officer has pulled this stunt?

    2. Do you think he's the only one doing this?

    3. Do you think this practice will increase or decrease if assert forfeiture is promulgated?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:22am

      Re: Here's where this inexorably leads

      4.) Do you think this officer will ever be punished for his misdeeds beyond a limited-time suspension without pay?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re: Here's where this inexorably leads

        The narrative is of course that "we shouldn't rush to judgment" and that "the video doesn't tell the whole story".

        Which I'm sure is very comforting to a guy who spent six months locked up on police-fabricated charge.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 2:12pm

      Re: Here's where this inexorably leads

      Stories like that always piss me off so much not just because of the injustice that they have inflicted upon the populace but because the story always includes a line like this that reads: "One officer has been suspended and two others have been placed on administrative duty" instead of "3 officers have been arrested".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:30pm

      Re: Here's where this inexorably leads

      Court: Either the cop or the video camera must be lying. Damn lying camera.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TheOtherDude, 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:08am

    Simpsons Time!

    The politics of failure have failed . . . its time to make them work again!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:10am

    take it easy

    Don't get so upset, Jeff just wants to get more brown people in prison. If your racist and tied to the for profit prison industry, its a win win.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:29am

      Re: take it easy

      What should worry those who are appeased by the previous statement is that at the current rate they will soon run out of brown people to put in prison and will have to start putting white people in there too. The for-profit prison industry is a monster that is never appeased, and must be slain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 10:31am

      Re: take it easy

      They lock up plenty of white people for petty non-violent crimes too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:30am

    D.A.R.E in a nutshell:

    https://i.imgur.com/Mr0aQyd_d.jpg

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:31am

    In an intensity from 1 to 1000 where 1 is the least addicting and 1000 the most addicting marijuana sits near the bottom with a score of 100. Alcohol scores 400 and crack 1000. This was told me by a psychologist friend of mine that deals with addicted people. Then I asked her why the fucking fucks is marijuana illegal and alcohol not. She shrugged. And we didn't even talk about prescription painkillers.

    Along with that scale, there is the question of how prone to addiction a person is. It seems there are several factors that determine if a person will or will not be addicted. One may be genetics. There are studies all around dealing with this component. There's the psychological dependence as well which happens when the drug is being used as an escape from a crappy life or a serious problem. Then there is the intensity of the addictive effect as I mentioned above. So summarizing people won't necessarily get addicted just like they aren't to alcohol. From my experience I seriously like a good drink, specially with vodka or sake and I always have them available at home but you'll see me making a drink like twice or three times a month and I rarely get high. I've also had experience with marijuana (the first time was pure accident but not the others) and I use it with the same frequency I drink except that some of the time I use for pain and inflammation. I have a friend on the other hand that keeps a safe distance between him and alcohol or virtually any drug because he has had problems with addiction in the past with more than one substance.

    Sessions is doing stuff based on his own flawed beliefs and this is going to be bad for everybody. Somebody should give him prescription marijuana for pain. It's so goddamn effective that he will change his mind at the very least for medical use. At his age I just know he goes through a lot of chronic pain without even realizing it.

    Know what you are talking about, check scientific studies, analyze social behavior. Be a responsible public servant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      And marijuana is not only less addictive than the opioid painkillers at the core of today's crisis, but I read there was a small study that found that those suffering chronic pain preferred the marijuana to the opiates for treating their symptoms.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:15am

        Re: Re:

        Indeed. There are plenty of cases of people with seizures getting better by using cannabidiol (one of the substances in marijuana other than THC), I have an older friend who is going to try it for his seizures. Of course if you have your own agenda and can't bother to look beyond it towards what is better to the citizens then it doesn't matter.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There is a fair cross section of people who have adverse reactions to opioids. For a good deal of these people, MJ can be a fairly effective substitute.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      In an intensity from 1 to 1000 where 1 is the least addicting and 1000 the most addicting marijuana sits near the bottom with a score of 100. Alcohol scores 400 and crack 1000.

      I wonder where sugar ranks. And caffeine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        Good question. Nicotine was high as well but I can't recall the number. I'm gonna ask her for sources to drop here and educate myself a bit further.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 6:51am

    There is a lot of misinformation on both sides.

    I hear over and over again about the Opioid crisis, and every commercial starts out with someone saying "I hurt my back" or "I was a college football player and got hurt" when talking about how they were introduced to Opioids and then heroin. The commercials would have you believe that most drug overdoses happen to people who started their drug journey with medical issues.

    There was a study done recently where they looked at over 135K drug overdoes, only about 13% involved medical issues of any kind.

    I agree though, people want to do drugs, let them, it is their life, but they need to take responsibility for their choices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:38am

      Re:

      Studies can be made to claim what ever you want to claim.
      Assuming the study is correct, it changes nothing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re:

        The commercials seem to want to indicate that most people that end up overdosing on drugs (mostly heroin), you know, that epidemic that is out there, started their drug use because they got hooked on prescription drugs and later went on to heroin.

        This study showed that was only the case in 13% of over 135K drug overdoses.

        I am not claiming anything, just stating the facts of that study.

        It does guide me on how we should combat this drug overdose issue. An Ohio state senator asked if EMS should be sent to someone who has OD'ed twice already. His town is struggling to pay for this service. Should I care about people that OD? Studies also show that the increased use of heroin is largely by white people, so leave your race baiting out of it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          My race baiting? ... Where was that, exactly?

          You assume the study is flawless, not that it matters - unless you work in the pharma industry.

          Your complaint is solely with the tv ads but everyone knows tv ads can broadcast all sorts of non-truthyness - right?


          "Should I care about people that OD?"

          idk, should you?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hmmm but what about those who are addicted but never overdosed? What if in that group the percentage of addicted people that have medical issues and got in through opioids is larger?

          And even then, you are saying about 15k people died from drug overdoses had medical conditions. Sounds like an awful lot of people to me to the point I would consider something to deal with before it became even larger, no? Percentages can be deceiving just as the numbers themselves when compared to bigger numbers. Let's not forget that even though they are 15k in 300 million it's an entire small town wiped out. Per year.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:15am

    I'd like to know which adults Sessions talked to? I'd be willing to bet that they were all Republicans who were also bible thumpers, aligned with the Westboro Baptist Church.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:36am

    "It might be a lack of respect for law enforcement, which Sessions feels is a failure of the American public, rather than the failures of those who serve them."

    I actually agree with Session on this. It is America's fault for putting Trump in that got Sessions in! yep, DEFINITELY agree here!

    Who could respect that fucking twit!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 7:58am

    "Whenever I ask adults around age 30 about prevention".
    Yes, because people talking to the AG are definitely going to tell him that the program sucked and they use cocaïne every weekend.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:27am

    Folks, let me tell you - creating jobs is hard. Manufacturing jobs aren't coming back, coal jobs aren't coming back. What's left? Corrections jobs.

    That's what this is all about.

    More prisoners = more prisons = more corrections jobs

    Just wait until everyone who supports it gets their tax bill. It all sounds wonderful to them until they figure out who has to pay for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:41am

      Re:

      What will the 1% do when the 99% are all in jail?

      Reminds me of the Andy Griffith Show where Andy had to go to Mt Pilot and upon his return he finds that Barney has the entire town locked up - "I got 'em dead to rights Andy!"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      Manufacturing jobs aren't coming back

      I believe it could if we really wanted it to.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re:

        There's been unemployed people thinking that for years.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 9:55pm

        Re: Re:

        On that note, manufacturing jobs will only come back when there is a financial incentive big enough to make a difference to the bottom line of a company.

        Manufacturing has been off-shored for a reason, companies can use it to reduce expenses in various areas while increasing the salaries and bonuses of those who are reducing the workforce.

        It is only when an unbiased look at the books is undertaken can one see whether or not it is of benefit for those manufacturing jobs to be brought back.

        Some time ago, I came across an interview with a company that had off-shored its production facilities to China. After a period of time, they looked at all the expenses and time wasting involved in getting their products manufactured in China. Once they looked at all costs, they found that it would be better to find local American manufacturers to build their products. Even though the base cost was far increased over the foreign based costs, the lack of ancillary costs based on incorrect manufacturing and product failures more than made up for the increased based costs.

        Having been in various companies over the decades that have undertaken this outsourcing approach, there have been very few financial successes.

        Decades ago a suggestion was made here to have a flat service rate for phone systems. That is you paid an annual fee based on the time you had the service during that year, no other charges would apply other than international calls. So in the suggestion, the consumer would pay nothing for any local, state or national calls. The calculations included the costs for running the simplified billing system, as opposed to the existing system at the time.

        The estimated upshot is that more profits would be made (significantly more profits) by implementing a simplified billing system. Based on what I knew at the time working at that company, I would agree with him.

        Too often, the ideas of capturing all data possible and of making a profit from that data are in conflict. The amount of cost in running billing systems is enormous (particularly in the kinds of industry like power, telecommunications, transport, etc) with the cost of software (ongoing), software maintenance (ongoing), data collection (ongoing), data storage (ongoing), data analysis (ongoing) and hardware infrastructure (ongoing) continually increasing.

        I have worked in a variety of industries and have looked at billing systems as a part of the kind of work I did, and massive amounts of expense in software, hardware, human time, etc is a result of the complicated billing systems that organisations put in place.

        Hugh costs savings could be made just by getting rid of the complex billing systems in use today. That does not include savings that one would expect from HR doing retrenchments. These retrenchments would themselves be redundant because there are many tasks not undertaken by a company that could then be done, just because of the amount of effort required for the billing systems.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Cowardly Lion, 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:59pm

          Intangibles

          Good, solid observations. The only thing I'd add is that we should also consider other, equally important, intangible costs and benefits with offshoring. What value would a "Made in America" label have in a garment, or on a piece of consumer electronics?

          There are other intangibles; both France and Germany have successfully retained their manufacturing bases whilst the UK has sold most of their national assets to foreign outfits. All three are wealthy nations, but I would argue that the UK has created a strategic weakness for itself. It has no national steel-making capabilities, no national car marques, even it's power generation is being outsourced to China.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 7:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In addition to the off shoring, there is the H1B abuse.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Manufacturing won't come back. We don't outsource our manufacturing to Chinese, we outsource them to Chinese robots.

          If manufacturing comes back to the US, it won't mean more US workers, just more US robots.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:34am

    Colorado Disagrees

    Seems like making $500 Million taxing marijuana sales beats the hell out of spending $500 million incarcerating people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:43am

      Re: Colorado Disagrees

      Let's hope that the party of "States Rights" does not tell Colorado that they are not allowed to make such decisions.

      Funny how states rights are very important except when they are not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 10:54am

      Re: Two more conversations on the subject

      jeff-sessions-wants-to-make-legalized-theft-great-again

      Hey, it's easier than hard work. Don't get me wrong, Session's party likes hard work, just so long as it's somebody else doing it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 10:12am

    Weed not quite legal

    weed... is now a socially and medically-accepted drug, legal in several states.

    Legal in state law, but still illegal under federal law. A pharmacy that tried to sell it might find itself raided by the FBI, or have its bank accounts cut off, etc. So dispensaries remain quasi-legal cash-only businesses, their clients can be arrested, and we can expect the DOJ to make things worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 20 Jul 2017 @ 11:06am

    Failure is the Only Option

    DOJ Boss Promises The Return Of Everything That Didn't Work During The Last 40 Years Of Drug Warring

    How unlike the US government and the defectoids operating within to double, triple and quadruple down on a failed and arbitrary multi-generational boondoggle that seeks to control what substances adults choose to ingest at a direct cost of greater than $1 trillion US dollars and the decimation of millions of lives.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/wasted-tax-dollars

    Only a petty authoritarian control freak would seek to decide what consenting adults can and can not ingest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2017 @ 7:52am

      Re: Failure is the Only Option

      "Only a petty authoritarian control freak would seek to decide what consenting adults ...."

      The American Taliban, that's who.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:03pm

    I wonder how much of that spike in violent crimes is cops shooting unarmed people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:33pm

    40 YEARS OF ECONOMY

    down the drain..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.