Odds and Ends

Back from an exciting trip to New York. Saw some great shows and ate some amazing food. As usual, walked all over the city, and the weather mostly cooperated.

A lot has been going on, and hopefully you’ve been following the comments where our team has been hard at work on the couch.

Here are a few random notes…

bullet image Some determined master thieves, caught in the act, appear to have given up trying to steal this particular item….

Feds Give Up Trying to Seize a Motel Based on Drug Offenses by a Few Guests by Jacob Sullum

Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said it will not appeal a ruling that blocked the federal government’s attempt to seize and sell a family-owned motel in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, based on drug offenses committed by a tiny fraction of the people who stayed there. The government conceded that the owner, Russell Caswell, did not participate in those crimes and was not aware of them at the time, but it argued that he was “willfully blind” to them.

I’m sure they’re already scoping out other lucrative targets.

bullet image U.N. development chief slams War on Drugs

Even some U.N. officials are unhappy with what the U.N. is doing in drug policy.

Helen Clark, the head of the United Nations Development Program, has publicly slammed global strategies to combat drugs, claiming there is increasing evidence that “the war on drugs” has failed. The former prime minister of New Zealand urged Latin American leaders to develop new policies to tackle drugs, which she says should be addressed as a public health problem rather than criminalized. “I’ve been a health minister in my past and there’s no doubt that the health position would be to treat the issue of drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than a criminalized issue,” she told Reuters.

bullet image A View of the Drug War: Stop Blaming Police and Start Emphasizing Personal Responsibility

Sergeant John Bruhns wants us to stop blaming police for the problems of the drug war. Well, we don’t blame all police — after all, we’re big fans of LEAP, and we know that not all police are alike. So what’s his argument?

An anti-law enforcement sentiment currently exists in American society, particularly among those who are disconnected from the realities of inner-city areas that are plagued by crime. In these circles, I often hear law enforcement personnel blamed for the “prison industrial complex, mass incarceration, and the war on drugs.” [...]

Like all wars, the drug war was started by policy makers. Law enforcement personnel had no say in when the war began, nor will they have a say in when it ends.

Oh really? We’ve heard that line before. How come every time I’ve been at a legislative hearing about drug policy, there have been police officers in uniform there to testify in favor of keeping the drug war as it is? Law enforcement holds an incredible amount of power over legislators, in terms of campaign contributions, lobbying efforts, and public visibility. Why do you think the Byrne grants keep getting re-funded despite multiple administrations admitting they do no good? Bizarrely, we even see police officially commenting to the media on whether marijuana is an efficacious medicine.

bullet image Here’s the news that’s giving everyone a kick… Steve Katz Arrested: New York State Assemblyman Charged With Marijuana Possession

A New York State assemblyman who has opposed medical marijuana legislation was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after he was pulled over for speeding this week.


As Lee Rosenberg tweeted:

Anti-pot politicians getting busted for weed is going to be the new anti-gay politicians busted with gay escorts.

bullet image I don’t understand. Here’s an email I received (and I’ve received several like it over the years I’ve been doing this blog):

Subject: need help with dope dealing trashy neighbors

my new neighbors are obviously selling drugs, have parties and throw
trash into my yard.
I am happy to give any info i can including address, vehicle
descriptions, etc. thanks for any help

Why are you telling me? I don’t have a trash pickup service. Are your new neighbors a CVS store? About the parties – is it that they’re too loud, or you’re not invited? Have you asked them not to throw trash in your yard? I really don’t know how to advise you. Excuse me, but I need to go write Radley Balko and ask him what to do with the dog poo in my alley.

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