Sunday, October 14, 2007

Drug Arrests

Nearly 1.9m people were arrested in America for drug offences in 2006—over three times the number detained in 1980. Around one in eight arrests is now drug related. But what they achieve in the “war on drugs” is unclear, according to a report by The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group. Fewer people take drugs: 14% of people reported using them monthly in 1979, but only 8% in 2005. But arrests are increasingly for more trivial crimes: in 2006 only 17.5% of arrests were made for the sale or manufacture of drugs, whereas some 39% were for the possession of marijuana.
via The Economist

3 comments:

Audacious Epigone said...

Why punish those in possession? Why not, instead, reward them for that possession if they divulge who the seller was. And then, obliterate the seller with a mandatory 20 years, or something similarly harsh? Keep the informant anonymous. If both sides of an illegal activity are punished, it is exceedingly difficult to get the thing under control. But punish only one side, and reward the other side for the punishment, and suddenly you have the two sides of a drug deal working against one another instead of a on the same side. That's a much more favorable situation to be in, regarding drying up the drug trade.

Fat Knowledge said...

AE,

You know, when I was composing this post, I was going to add my 2¢ at the end, but then I couldn't figure out exactly what that was. :)

It seems like a waste to me to put all these people in prison, both the possessors and the sellers. Seems like it would be cheaper and more effective to deal with drug abuse as a health problem rather than a criminal problem. But, I don't really have anything to back that up.

The HBO show The Wire was an interesting look at all the players in the drug war and their motivation. I have the book High Society on the shelf but I have been distracted by other books at the moment. Maybe when I finish that up I will have a better idea as to what I think we ought to do.

arahman7 said...

Thanks for the support. FYI, there many of us who are on the journey to recovery too.

One day at a time!

- ArahMan7

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