US Marijuana Party

Monday, March 07, 2005

Does hefty federal time make dent in drug, gun crimes?

Prosecutors, defense attorneys split on impact; few question rising numbers.
Monday, March 07, 2005

The Express-Times

More drug and gun offenders are being prosecuted by federal authorities, more are going to prison, and they're staying there longer than they used to, according to a federal report issued in January.

Does this mean the federal government is winning the war against drugs and curtailing gun-related crimes?

It depends who you ask.

Prosecutors say the numbers show how seriously the federal government takes gun and drug crimes. The only way to stop drug dealers is to make the penalties so severe that the risk of dealing outweighs the potential for monetary gain, according to the prosecutors.

Defense attorneys, however, say the number of drug prosecutions and convictions should be going down if drug dealers are truly too scared by the penalties to sell drugs. These attorneys call the stepped up efforts by federal prosecutors a waste of the government's limited resources to fight all sorts of crime, not just gun- and drug-related crime.

The report, compiled by the Bureau of Justice and Statistics, shows a steady rise in the prosecution of drug, weapons and immigration violations during the period investigated from 1994 to 2002. The greatest percentage of all federal arrests in 2002 were drug-related (27 percent) followed by immigration offenses (21 percent).

What a crock of social engineering.

Some issues raised here:

1. The federalization of local policing. Why is the ATF in my neighborhood?

2. The laws designed to fight gun-toting drug dealers effectively eliminate the right to bear arms for millions of Americans. Your right to defend your home should not hinge on a speck of plant material, a leaf, seed or twig that could be tracked in on someone's shoe, fall from someone's pocket into your couch cushions or be planted by drug task forces which have an economic incentive to do so.
Nor should it hinge on your outright and honestly posessing marijuana. The ONDCP ad showing children accidentally shooting each other while high was a two-pronged attack. It played upon parent's concerns for their children while also promoting the idea that anyone who consumes cannabis is somehow incompetent to handle firearms.
How convenient it is for the government to push propaganda which rationalizes the disarming of the population they persecute. The US policy of demonization coupled with harm maximization creates a self-fulfilling prophesy.

3. Many others.


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