Economists Slam the War on Drugs in a New London School of Economics Report
by Abby Haglage May 05, 2014 08:40 PM EDT
The ‘singular approach’ to fighting drug abuse isn’t working—and it’s time for a change, says a new report produced by the London School of Economics. What they suggest, in five steps.
In an 81-page report released Monday evening, the best and brightest minds in the economic drug policy world send the United Nations a loaded message about the drug war:
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy excerpts and links to an article covering the judge’s speech:
“Plea bargains have led many innocent people to take a deal,” Rakoff said. “People accused of crimes are often offered five years by prosecutors or face 20 to 30 years if they go to trial. … The prosecutor has the information, he has all the chips … and the defense lawyer has very, very little to work with. So it’s a system of prosecutor power and prosecutor discretion. I saw it in real life [as a criminal defense attorney], and I also know it in my work as a judge today.”
BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT APRIL 14, 2014
The chemist F. Sherwood Rowland is one of the few people in history about whom it can accurately be said: he helped save the world. In 1972, Rowland, a chemist at the University of California-Irvine, attended a talk on the compounds known as chlorofluorocarbons. At the time, these were being used as refrigerants, cleaning agents, and propellants in aerosol cans, and they had recently been detected in the air over the Atlantic. CFCs are unusually stable, but it occurred to Rowland that, if they were getting blown around the world, at very high altitudes they would eventually break down. He and one of his research assistants began to look into the matter, and they concluded that in the stratosphere CFCs would indeed dissociate. The newly liberated chlorine atoms would then set off a chain reaction, which would destroy the ozone layer that protects the earth from ultraviolet radiation.
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The issue before the Court in Navarette v. California, No. 12-9490 was:
Whether the Fourth Amendment requires an officer who receives an anonymous
tip regarding a drunken or reckless driver to corroborate dangerous driving
before stopping the vehicle.
In a 5-4 decision, with Justice Thomas writing for the majority, the Court
held that “the stop complied with the Fourth Amendment because, under a
totality of the circumstances, the officer had reasonable suspicion that
the driver was intoxicated.”
Justice Scalia, writing for the dissent (joined by
Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan), noted that the majority opinion
“purports to adhere to our prior cases” and “does not explicitly adopt… a
departure from our normal Fourth Amendment requirement that anonymous tips
must be corroborated.” But, Justice Scalia, warns: “Be not deceived.”
“The Court’s opinion serves up a freedom-destroying cocktail.” He
explains: “Law enforcement agencies follow closely our judgments on
matters such as this, and they will identify at once our new rule: So long
as the caller identifies where the car is, anonymous claims of a single
instance of possibly careless or reckless driving, called in to 911, will
support a traffic stop. This is not my concept, and I am sure would not be
the Framers’, of a people secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Nicholas Kristof’s article in Sunday New York Times…”Inside a Mental Hospital called Jail.”
What has happened to this country to let this situation develop?
Read the article here:
Thoughts about a genius and his addiction-
I have always believed the mark of a great artist is the ability to make the observer uncomfortable. Hoffman’s performance in Boogie Nights was a perfect example, brilliant in its conveyance of the character. I was truly saddened upon the news that his addiction to heroin took his life. No one will know why he went back, only he knew. It is one of the strange ways of this life, to ease the chaos, to hide, to succumb to weakness in the face of the truth? No one knows, but what a loss.