Saturday, April 6, 2019

War on Drugs Essay Example for Free

fight on Drugs EssayNot surprisingly, cases like the foregoing generated a man backlash-perhaps the only signifi hypocrisy superstar since the War on Drugs was declargond in 1982. It gouged relation back into creating what is known as the innocent owner defence force to such in rem forfeitures, but even that gesture of reasonableness is largely illusory. First, the defense does non redress the gross imbalance between the value of property forfeited and the personal culpability of the owner. For example, a Vermont man was plunge guilty of suppuration six cannabis plants. He received a hang up sentence, but he and his family lost their 49-acre farm. Similarly, a New York man forfeited his $145,000 condominium because he interchange cocaine to an informant for $250. The law provides no limit to the value of property subject to forfeiture, even for real minor dose offenses. Second, the innocent owner defense places the burden on the property claimant to demonstrate that he or she acted or failed to act without knowledge, consent or willful blindness of the drug activities of the offender. Thus, the federal official government activity instituted forfeiture proceedings in the Delray Beach, Fla., theatre of operations against numerous properties containing convenience stores or other businesses where drug proceeding took place, claiming that the owners made insufficient efforts to prevent drug dealings. Placing the burden on the claimant imposes expense and inconvenience because the claimant must study a lawyer to mount a challenge to the seizure. moreover, many cases involve the family house or car, and it very much is difficult to prove that one family member had no knowledge of or did not consent to the nefarious activities of another.For instance, a Florida court held that a claimant did not use reasonable c be to prevent her husband from employ her automobile in criminal activity thus, she was not entitled to the innocent owner defense. A specially cruel application of this kind of vicarious responsibility for the wrongs of another is seen in the governments policy of evicting impoverished families from public lodgment because of the drug activities of one unruly child.The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 specifically states that a tenants lease is a forfeitable property interest and that public housing agencies have the authority to hire investigators to determine whether drug laws are being broken. The act authorizes eviction if a tenant, member of his or her household, guest, or other person under(a) his or her control is engaged in drug-related activity on or near public housing premises. To carry out these provisions, the act funded a pilot enforcement program. In 1990, the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban ripening announced a Public Housing Asset Forfeiture Demonstration Project in 23 states.The project pursued lease forfeitures and generated considerable publicity. In passing this law, it must h ave been obvious to Congress that many innocent family members would suffer along with the guilty. Perhaps it was thought vital, nonethe slim, as a way of protect other families from drugs in public housing projects. As experience proves, however, even evicted dealers continue to deal in and around the projects. It is hard to take public housing lease forfeitures very hard, in that respectfore, other than as a symbolic statement of the governments tough stand against illegal drugs. Destructive consequencesA policy that destroys families, takes property from the innocent, and tramples the raw material criminal law principles of personal responsibility, proportionality, and fairness has spillover effects into other public policy domains. One area in which the fanaticism of the drug warriors perhaps is most(prenominal) evident is public health. Drugs such as hemp and diacetylmorphine have well-known medical applications. Yet, so zealous are the anti-drug forces that even these th erapeutic uses in effect have been banned. Marijuana, for instance, has many applications as a safe and effective therapeutic agent.Among them are relief of the intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma and alleviating the nausea caused by chemotherapy. Some AIDS patients also have pay offed relief from using cannabis. Yet, marijuana is classified by the Attorney General of the U. S. , not the Surgeon General, as a Schedule I drug-one having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medicinal use, and lack of accepted golosh for utilization. It thereby is deemed beyond the scope of legitimate medical practice and thus is not generally for sale to medical practitioners.The only exception was an extremely limited program of compassionate treatment of the terminally or seriously ill, but even that has been eliminated for political reasons. Assistant Secretary James O. Mason of the Department of wellness and Human wait ons announced in 1991 that the Public Health Services prov ision of marijuana to patients seriously ill with AIDS would be discontinued because it would create a public perception that this stuff cant be so bad. After a review caused by protests from AIDS activists, the Public Health Service decided in March, 1992, to stop supplying marijuana to any patients save the 13 then receiving it.thither also are beneficial uses for heroin. Terminal cancer patients suffering from intractable anguish generally obtain quicker analgesic relief from heroin than from morphine. Many doctors believe that heroin should be an option in the pharmacopeia. Accordingly, in 1981, the American Medical Association House of Delegates adopted a resolution stating that the management of pain relief in terminal cancer patients should be a medical decision and should take precedence over concerns about drug dependence. Various bills to accomplish that goal were introduced in the 96th, 97th, and 98th Congresses. The Compassionate Pain relievo Act was brought to the H ouse floor for a vote on Sept. 19, 1984, but was defeated by 355 to 55. Although there were some concerns voiced about thefts from hospital pharmacies, the overwhelming concern was political and symbolic a heroin legalization bill could not be passed in an election year and, in any event, would charge up the public the wrong message. The final and perhaps most outrageous example in this catalog of wrongs against public health care is the almost universal American refusal to permit established addicts to exchange used needles for unimaginative ones in order to prevent AIDS transmission among intravenous drug users. In 1991, the National counsel on AIDS recommended the removal of legal barriers to the purchase and possession of intravenous drug injection equipment. It found that 32% of all adult and adolescent AIDS cases were related to intravenous drug use and that 70% of mother-to-child AIDS infections numbered from intravenous drug use by the mother or her sexual partner.More over the committee found no evidence that denial of access to sterile needles reduced drug abuse, but think that it did encourage the sharing of contaminated needles and the spread of the AIDS virus. Notwithstanding the commissions criticism of the governments myopic criminal judge approach to the drug situation, the prevailing view is that needle exchange programs encourage drug abuse by sending the wrong message. Public safety is sacrificed when, across the nation, more than 18,000 local, sheriffs, and state police officers, in addition to thousands of Federal agents, are devoted full time to special drug units.As a result, countless hours and dollars are diverted from detecting and preventing more serious violent shames. Thirty percent of an estimated 1,100,000 drug-related arrests made during 1990 were marijuana offenses, nearly four out of five for mere possession. Tax dollars would be spent better if the resources it took to make near 264,000 arrests for possession of ma rijuana were dedicated to protecting the general public from violent crime. The intensive pursuit of drug offenders has generated an enormous population of convicts held in prison house for very long periods of time as a result of excessive and/or mandatory jail terms.It is estimated that the operating cost of maintaining a prisoner ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 per year, depending upon the location and aim of security at a particular prison. With more than 800,000 men and women in American correctional facilities today, the nationwide cost approaches $30,000,000,000 per year. This is a major diversion of scarce resources. These financial burdens are only part of the harm incurred as a result of the relentless drive to achieve higher and higher arrest records. More frightening and damaging are the injuries and losses caused by the early release of violent criminals owing to prison overcrowding.Commonly, court orders impose population caps, so prison authorities accelerate release of violent felons suffice non-mandatory sentences in order to free up beds for non-violent drug offenders serving mandatory, non-parolable terms. For example, to stay abreast of its rapidly growing inmate population, Florida launched one of the nations most ambitious early release programs. However, prisoners serving mandatory terms most of them drug offenders, who now comprise 36% of the total prison population are ineligible. As a result, the average length of sentence declined dramatically for violent criminals, while it rose for drug offenders.Murderers, robbers, and rapists often do less time than a cocaine mule carrying a kilo on a bus, who gets a mandatory 15-year term. A Department of Justice survey showed that 43% of state felons on probation were rearrested for a crime within three years of sentencing. In short, violent criminals are released early to commit more crimes so that their beds can be occupied by nonviolent drug offenders. Civil libertarians are not hear of ten defending a societal right to be secure from violent criminals, much less a right of victims to see just punishment meted out to offenders.In this they are as unretentive as their law-and-order counterparts. The War on Drugs is a public safety disaster, making victims of us all. However disquieting it may be to admit, the undeniable reality is that drugs always have been and always will be a presence in society. Americans have been paying too high a price for the governments War on Drugs.As Federal judge William Schwarzer has said, It behooves us to think that it may profit us very little to win the war on drugs if in the process we lose our soul. http//www. serendipity. li/wod. html

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