You Don't Need Drug Laws to Punish People Who Steal

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The idea that our drug policy should prioritize public health over law enforcement is such common sense that even the drug czar is comfortable saying it. Yet Warren County, OH prosecutor Rachel Hutzel has bravely attempted to refute this emerging conventional wisdom in a perfectly incoherent editorial entitled Many drug offenders need punishment, not just treatment:

Many thefts are committed to get drug money. The majority of traffic-related deaths are drug or alcohol-related. And personal crimes such as child endangering and domestic violence are usually fueled by drugs or alcohol.

Many drug crimes should continue to be dealt with harshly. The people who are harmed by the selfish, destructive acts of drug users and drug dealers deserve nothing less.


Wait, I didn't hear anyone say anything about not punishing thieves, drunk drivers, and child endangerers. I'm pretty sure everyone's in agreement about that. If someone steals, can't you prosecute them for stealing? Am I missing something?

The abundance of crimes with actual victims is all the more reason to stop wasting criminal justice resources on people whose only crime was taking a drug that isn't allowed.

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Yo, Rachel Hutzel

When's the last time you heard of a marijuana related traffic death? When's the last time you heard of a marijuana related domestic violence death? Alcohol's way more dangerous than cannabis, so laws that criminalize folks for preferring cannabis are a piece of garbage that will get all the respect they deserve. Knock your head against that wall all you want.
Where do alcohol users get this crazy and thoroughly bigoted idea that they have moral standing to criminalize cannabis users? First they need to do something about all the reckless and sadistic creeps in their own community! As any experienced alcohol using prosecutor (or judge or cop or doctor or nurse or drug counselor etc, etc) should know deep in their bones
-newageblues

There is no such thing as

There is no such thing as "drugs and alcohol." Alcohol is a drug. The phrase is a well worn example of government's continued failed attempt to manipulate and control public opinion as our "leaders" lie, lie more, then lie yet again. The government knows if you lie often enough, some people will begin to believe the lies are truths. The truth is government could care less about the health of citizens of this country, rather, as allways, it is all about the money. This is why there is not so much as a warning label on a bottle of booze, a substance so toxic that rapid consumption of a quart or so can and does kill. This is the same government that puts tens of thousands of citizens in prison for consuming cannabis, a substance that has such a low toxic level there is not even one recorded case of fatal overdose. Again, it is all about the money, as there are big bucks to be made waging the war on "drugs," never mind what goes on in a local bar. To those who think there is a difference between "drugs and alcohol," I ask this question: Can your body metabolism tell the difference between toxic substanced based on current legal status?

Not only that, but she

Not only that, but she actually even admits that alcohol is one of the drugs that cause these problems:

"The majority of traffic-related deaths are drug or alcohol-related. And personal crimes such as child endangering and domestic violence are usually fueled by drugs or alcohol."

umm.... if you're explicitly saying this, then why aren't you saying alcohol should be illegal too (and dealt with harshly)?

And she even got that wrong!

The last report I reviewed from the CDC and NTSB set the alcohol related fatalities at 39% (2006) and of that group, there were 18% drugs used as well. Nothing was stated, in that report about the use of drugs alone as to their relationship to traffic fatalities!

Since when does 39% constitute the majority? Lies and propaganda, again!

Child endangering and domestic violence

Drugged drivers? It's probably more effective to just take the police off the drug dealers and drug users and put them on traffic patrol.

People who steal? If, let's say, five percent of all drug users steal (i don't know how much it really is, it's probably less), then it's better to put police on property crimes (focus on those five percent) rather than going after one hundred percent of them (95% of which is a complete waste of resources as well as an infringement on people's liberties).

Child abuse and domestic violence? This is a very difficult issue to deal with. But it is not difficult only in the case of illegal drug users, it is also difficult in the case alcohol users, and it is also difficult in the case of sober people. You just can't be going into everyone's home and seeing how they treat their children. This is an issue I really don't know how we could deal with. We need creative ways of dealing with domestic crimes in general, and thinking that we're doing anything effective about it because we're going after drug users is probably misled. We have to come up with ideas that focus on child abuse and domestic violence in itself.

Drug dealer's families

"The people who are harmed by the selfish, destructive acts of drug users and drug dealers deserve nothing less."

Drug dealers? We don't already harshly punish drug dealers? Plus, she's making a whole case about drug use, and then she throws in drug dealers?

If she wants to deal with the peripheral crimes of drug dealers (murders and such), she should legalize drugs. Plus, what about the mother of a drug dealer who has to find out one day that his son has been murdered or severely beaten because he ran into some trouble at work? What about the son of a drug dealer who is exposed to a drive by shooting that was targeting his dad?

For all their talk of destructive tobacco and alcohol....

...there has never once been a call for illegalization of alcohol and tobacco by the well-funded prohibitionists.

Hutzel

Prosecutor Hutzel is lazy and dishonest.. There are cases where she simply refuses to consider evidence that is outside of what the police have presented to her despite the fact that such evidence trashes the state's case. In Mertens vs the State of Ohio Hutzel quite easily loses a video tape and 911 tape of an incident then offers the defendant an out for $500. The defendant told her to go to hell. To this day Hutzel has been unable to explain how the video and 911 call disappeared.

That's right, Rachel, I'm still free and you're still too lazy to ask what happened to the YMCA video and why Nate Anderkin of Springboro Police screwed it up. Unless of course your interest is cop love instead of truth.

Richard Mertens

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