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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Legalize It : Drugs or Slavery


On Wednesday May 20th Pete Bianco and your's truly, David Bass Dancy, will host the first in a series of community conversations regarding decriminalization of drugs at The Other Side 2011 Genesee St Utica N.Y..
We have taken the time to gather community leaders involved in law enforcement addiction counseling and politics. We even invited an expert on Racial Justice (I wonder why?)
To us, it's obvious our current policies are meant to simply lock people up. More often than not they are overwhelmingly poor, black and brown.
Government strategies for reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs are not effective or well thought out. It seems to be a war against poverty or 'poor' people.
The laws and people responsible for enforcing them cause more damage in their interdiction efforts than the drugs themselves.
In fact our policies have never been very effective or well thought out.
Terms like: Just Say No...The War on Drugs have been our ignorant rallying cry.
Basically we have our fingers in the dyke (not literally) as citizens, friends, neighbors and people involved in law enforcement.
We have become accustomed to a social construct that turns citizens into enemies of law and order because they may possess a plentiful, easily attained substance considered harmful or dangerous by the USGuv.
Onmce again, the people locked up are mostly poor and brown.
What Gives?
I have heard the racist response to incarceration rates.
We all know at the end of the day people get high at the same rates regardless of racial background regardless of economic background regardless of education. Regardless of the substance.
Who goes to jail?
If we decriminalize marijuana and regulate the Narco-opiates what will happen?
Will everyone suddenly decide to try Crack and Heroin?
I don't think so.
Prohibition used to be a policy based on race and subordinate group control... it (doesn't) didn't work.
If we decriminalize kids won't be able to sell it. The illegal social stigma attached to addiction would allow thousands of addicts to come clean and get the help they want and need.
Functional users would be able to safely acquire their drug of choice without the hassle of an occasional robbery.
I know it sounds radical . But guess what? I (you) can get anything right outside my (your) door and there is no one checking for I.D.'s or quality(heh-heh).
So what's it goin to be?
I propose we keep our collective heads in the sand, make drugs legal and poverty illegal...makes sense right?...the same people get locked up, it works out perfect.
Seriously.
I think those that oppose legalization on knee-jerk issues are afraid. Many cannot imagine a world without inner city running gun battles and overcrowded jails. Many people still carry the irrational cultural fear of other races. The same school of thought that prevents us from trading with Cuba, working faithfully with Haiti and really being an effective force in the Indies.
Without illegal drugs our ideas about what crime is will change.
It will no longer be illegal to be poor, black or hispanic. Kids with hopes of being the next Kingpin will not be disappointed with their new found career in carpentry, plumbing, truck-driving...you get it.
The world will change rapidly...buildings will shoot up in Central New York.
A people at work not at odds.

16 comments:

Seven said...

i'm all for it!

David B. Dancy said...

Come out and see what the politicos have to say.

no_slappz said...

Decriminalization of drugs is one thing. Legalization is something else.

If drugs are Legalized, then a full-blown industry will develop. There will be a Budweiser of dope. Huge advertising campaigns will run and every remaining newspaper and magazine will beg for ads for every form of legalized drug.

If drugs are legalized, it is a certainty that consumption will increase. In fact, it will skyrocket.

Pot growers will have a lobby. Congress will debate issues like drug potency. Today's pot is many times more powerful than pot from a couple of decades ago.

Should the government set standards? Should consumers pay taxes like cigarette smokers?

What role will the FDA have?

How will the country manage the importation of cocaine? Heroin?

On the other hand, alcohol is the same. Nature has limited its strength and almost every drinker dilutes the alcohol.

As for ending drug crime by legalizing drugs, sorry, that will not happen. Any drug not legalized will continue to trade illegally. It will become even easier for underage kids to buy drugs.

Would you legalize Crystal Meth?

Every corporation in the country has policies against drug use, often firing those with drug and alcohol problems. Legalizing drugs will increase the number of users and increase the number of people who are fired after failing drug tests. An increase in users will also decrease the number of people eligible for hiring.

As for poverty, well, no one rose out of poverty by using drugs. Maybe some people have prospered for a while selling drugs. But consumption never lifted anyone off the bottom.

As for your claim that "at the end of the day people get high at the same rates regardless of racial background regardless of economic background regardless of education."

You really need to look at the numbers. Your claim is simply false. However, the usual argument relies on a deception. It may be true that whites are more likely to abuse legal prescription drugs. But like racial differences in the rates of violent crime, whites are less inclined than blacks and hispanics to consume illegal drugs.

And hey, how about the murder of the black engineering school graduate at the U of Buffalo a couple of days ago? Looks like a couple of thugs came after him in a premeditated plan to kill him. No doubt the shooters were a couple of disgruntled white engineering students.

David B. Dancy said...

Slappz you raise many good questions.
That is exactly why we are going to have this public discussion on May 20th. There is already an over-abundance of drugs. Prescription drugs do many of the same things as illicit substances. The big challenge is preventing chronic abuse. That has always been a challenge.I will reiterate that the younger generations coming up are not curious about the effects of crack and heroin. Not as curious as previous generations. If narcotics are decriminalized and regulated you will see a steady decline in chronic use. My concern is the disproprotionate amount blacks and hispanics that are in jail for drugs .Whites may be few statistical ticks less likely to use illicit substances like heroin but that does not explain the disparity when it comes to our criminal justice system.
Marijuana is a whole different issue I feel the government should decriminalize it and allow people to grow, smoke and sell at their leisure.
The other mean spirited, unforunate events you speak of I choose not to respond.
It does not matter who commits murder...it's an equal opportunity endevour.

no_slappz said...

dbd, you wrote:

"There is already an over-abundance of drugs."

Too many types of drugs? Or too large a quantity?

You wrote:

"Prescription drugs do many of the same things as illicit substances. The big challenge is preventing chronic abuse."

Above you say you are concerned about chronic abuse. But below you say you are concerned about incarceration rates. Then you say you want to "decriminalize" drugs. Or perhaps you mean "legalize" them.

If there is no penalty -- decriminalization and legalization are the same on this issue -- for using drugs, then there is nothing to deter users from developing problems except personal strength.

Guess what? As consumption of cigarettes and liquor show, it's tough to break a habit. and a lot of drugs are dangerously habit-forming. In your world, drug use and abuse would rise mainly because most of the people in prison today on drug charges would land in drug de-tox centers instead.

However, with no penalty for more drug use, it will take a lot to cause users to quit after de-tox.

You wrote:

"I will reiterate that the younger generations coming up are not curious about the effects of crack and heroin."

In other words, A Sucker is Born Every Minute.

You wrote:

"Not as curious as previous generations."

If you are right -- which I doubt -- then you are actually saying that people are incapable of stopping themselves from going overboard with drugs.

But your plan to reduce drug use is to make it easier to obtain and consume drugs. That means your plan sets the stage for a huge increase in the consumption of currently illegal drugs.

You wrote:

"If narcotics are decriminalized and regulated you will see a steady decline in chronic use."

Impossible. Worse, easy access to drugs will contribute to an increase in the number of under-age prostitutes.

You wrote:

My concern is the disproprotionate amount blacks and hispanics that are in jail for drugs."

There is an easy way of avoiding jail for drug convictions -- stay away from drugs.

You wrote:

"Whites may be few statistical ticks less likely to use illicit substances like heroin but that does not explain the disparity when it comes to our criminal justice system."

It's true that the sentencing guidelines for crack convictions are harsher than for cocaine convictions, and that leads to higher incarcerations rates for blacks compared with whites.

Okay, so lets drop the distinctions between crack and cocaine and punish them equally. In that scenario, blacks will remain way ahead when it comes to jail sentences after getting nailed for cocaine instead of crack.

David B. Dancy said...

I was uncharacteristically wrong about white drug abuse actually according to The center for disease control 4% of white highschoolers use cocaine compared to 1% blacks
whites have a 42% chance of trying illicit drugs compared to 37% for blacks
37% of felony drug defendants are white compared to 61% for blacks
32% of convicted whites get probation or a non incarceration sentence 25% for blacks
27% of white drug felons actually do time compared to 43% blacks
All this information can be ontained by the U.S Department of Justice.
Get your facts straight.
Facts really do not matter when you are operating under or defending a racist agenda. But I thought I would try to enlighten you anyway.
I know i have made progress with you. You are starting to lick your old wounds.
Heres to a brother being on top of both major political parties despite all the negative stats you so faithfully rely upon and all the disparity we are still the leaders of this country at it's greatest time of need.
That should be comfort to the rest of the world and the Real American people.

no_slappz said...

dbd,

Some of your stats are probably about right. Some do not really matter, and some tell a story that you simply refuse to acknowledge.

You posted:

"37% of felony drug defendants are white compared to 61% for blacks..."

Why do you suppose more drug defendants are black than white? Do you actually believe the police ignore white culprits when a black culprit is available?

How do drug arrestees get arrested? What series of events lead to a trip to the precinct house?

What is the court practice? Plea bargaining or jury trials?

You wrote:

"...32% of convicted whites get probation or a non incarceration sentence 25% for blacks..."

A review of a defendant's jacket might affect things.

You wrote:

"...27% of white drug felons actually do time compared to 43% blacks..."

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as black and white.

no_slappz said...

dbd,

The following numbers show the number of people -- by race -- admitted to drug treatment centers in 2006 for all forms of substance abuse. Blacks and hispanics were admitted at triple the rate of whites.

Race/ethnicity

White (non-Hispanic) 1,063,871

Black (non-Hispanic) 381,425

Hispanic origin 248,436

American Indian/Alaska Native 40,629

Asian/Pacific Islander 18,111

Other 36,414

No. of admissions 1,788,886

Lots of racial data on drug use and treatment is available at the following site:

http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds06/teds2k6aweb508.pdf

Bottom line, you're spinning the situation due to some unfortunate need to deny reality.

Instead of concern for the impact and devastation of drug abuse in the black community, you want to pretend drug consumption is as bad or worse among whites, and thereby attempt to justify the groundless claim that blacks are victims of white injustice.

Even more disturbing is the fact that you want to legalize drugs and multiply the human toll.

If legalization were to occur, it would take no time at all before black civic leaders began claiming that whites were again victimizing blacks by selling more potent drugs in black neighborhoods -- just like the complaints about the marketing of alcohol.

David B. Dancy said...

These are not my stats I obtained them from the department of justice.
I am simply pointing to the obvious disparity when it coms to what we consider 'serious' crime when it comes to black people. I have witnessed sentencing disparities first hand in this community where I live.
I kinda 'in the know' around here. Even white people within the system admit "there is something wrong with our approach..very often we give 'the benefit of the doubt to whites'. He meant all the time.
White people literally get away with murder here. That does not get on any stat sheet.
The fact is you are frustrated with truth of the matter.Bottom line, America has an insatiable appetite for many things. Cocaine Heroin and marijuana are among them.
To continue too punish productive people for using or possessing these easily attainable commodities is an old outdated, puritanical approach to a simple social situation.
What intr=igues me about you is you always descend into this baseless racial thing. it has nothing to do with the overall issue.
Besides you admitted on this forum on another longwinded response that you were for decriminalization. How many people live in No Slappzville?
Do you even know what you stand for?

no_slappz said...

dbd, there is a big difference between Decriminalization AND Legalization of drugs.

You wrote:

"I propose we keep our collective heads in the sand, make drugs legal..."

Thus, you've stated your view that you want to unleash a nightmare on the country.

You referred to the obvious problems when you wrote:

"Bottom line, America has an insatiable appetite for many things. Cocaine Heroin and marijuana are among them."

You also wrote:

"If we decriminalize marijuana and regulate the Narco-opiates what will happen? Will everyone suddenly decide to try Crack and Heroin? I don't think so."

Clearly you have no idea what you think. At one point you state our national drug appetite is insatiable, and at another point you state it's less than insatiable.

As for Department of Justice statistics, I was interested in exactly which page of which compilation you cited. There is an endless stream of statistics.

But one thing is certain, you really have no grasp of the sociological reality. Only people with their heads in the sand believe the drug problem is equally bad with respect to race.

Cops do not arrest blacks when victims of violent crime report their assailants are white. Drug dealers are busted because the police get reports from people calling in.

By the way, I happen to be acquainted with a black guy who murdered his wife -- she was white -- and so far, he's gotten away with it. It was a clever murder. He took her out of Brooklyn to a place upstate and managed to kill her medically.

How do I know? Like OJ, he confessed to a mutual friend. Meanwhile, he had been having an affair at the time of his wife's death and his "other woman" delivered a bizarre eulogy at the wife's funeral.

For what it's worth, I believe in decriminalization -- which means criminal penalties for drug use are eliminated. If drugs are only decriminalized, then corporations will stay away due to the pile of product liability suits and wrongful death suits they'd face if they got into the business.

Sadly, all your comments on drugs and drug use suggest you believe black neighborhoods would become better places if drugs were legal -- and presumably a lot cheaper.

Would crack use decrease if the price of crack fell? Are you claiming that police and anti-drug efforts have no effect? Or possibly cause drug use to increase?

David B. Dancy said...

Bringing up th O.J. trial?
You are losing your focus.
It is obvious you sgree with decriminalization.
This issue will lose all of it's racial overtones as soon as legalization happens. Meanwhile bold white people will continue to cruise 'da hood' at three in the morning looking for 'directions'.
What is funniest is your sweeping generalizations in regards to use.
The price fluctuates according to demand. The lower the demand...you should know the rest.
Drugs are like any other commodity. There will be no explosive increase in use. There may be a few more people willing to admit they do if it was legal but the increas you are talking means that you yourself are at risk. At least according to you.
Then you write that you are in favor of no penalties for use or being under the influence but drugs should still be illegal?
BTW Insatiable refers to the large stable number of users. And not neccesarily drugs we have an insatiable appetite for many things. oil, porn...you name it.
America is a moral cesspool. Get off your high horse and join the party.
Or continue to play the devils advocate...how do you feel about gay marriage or i mean same sex marriage big guy?

David B. Dancy said...

None of my comments suggest anything...it is what you get out of it that counts

David B. Dancy said...

In the future refrain from mentioning hearsay like a friend of a friend confessed to this or that.
As far as Black mp[eople being arrested when white people murder someone it happens all the time.
Rememebr the newlywes in Boston who tossed his wife off the bridge aftwer he shot her and saisd he was mugged 'by a black guy'. Rememeber Susan Smith who said she was carjacked. Another guy outside of Milwaukee shot his wife in their driveway...again 'the blacks did it'.
Ironically he is the same guy who was killed with Jeffrey Dhmer in prison . A hit carried out by The G.D.'s in retribution for Dahmers crimes and the other guys 'drysnitching' which resulted in the police harrassing many G.D.'s in the area until the cops came to their senses and did real police work. Two birds with one stone.
BTW talking about the medical murder the way you did makes you a dry snitch.
The worse kind.

no_slappz said...

dbd, you wrote:

"As far as Black mp[eople being arrested when white people murder someone it happens all the time."

Give me an example of the police ARRESTING and PROSECUTING a black suspect when the actual culprit was white.

You wrote:

"Rememebr the newlywes in Boston who tossed his wife off the bridge aftwer he shot her and saisd he was mugged 'by a black guy'."

Yes. He lied to the police who saw through his story in less than 48 hours and then realized the husband himself was the killer. As always, the news media ran with it, and you were taken in along with everyone else.

Were any black suspects arrested and prosecuted? Or did the police start with information given by a victim/witness and attempt to act on it, then discover their witness was lying?

The husband was good enough to save the state of Massachusetts the cost of prosecuting him. He jumped off a bridge and killed himself.

You wrote:

"Rememeber Susan Smith who said she was carjacked."

Yes. It took about 24 hours for her story to unravel. The cops doubted her story from the start, but the news media ran with it.

Her story was ridiculous from the start. If a real car-jacker had wanted a car and money, the last thing he'd do is kidnap children and cmpound the seriousness of his crime by 1,000. At the very least he would have dropped off the kids.

Anyway, Susan Smith was prosecuted and is now serving a life sentence. The right person is in jail. Where's the problem?

You wrote:

"Another guy outside of Milwaukee shot his wife in their driveway...again 'the blacks did it'."

So what? Who went to jail for the crime?

Meanwhile, murderers can be counted on to deny killing their victims. Does it matter how ridiculous their stories are?

As I mentioned, OJ's jury approved of his double homicide. The jury loved him so much that if he had confessed on the witness stand, they would have aquitted him anyway.

You wrote:

"Ironically he is the same guy who was killed with Jeffrey Dhmer in prison ."

I'll have to check this. I recall Dahmer's jailhouse murder. But not the murder of a second guy.

You wrote:

" A hit carried out by The G.D.'s in retribution for Dahmers crimes and the other guys 'drysnitching' which resulted in the police harrassing many G.D.'s in the area until the cops came to their senses and did real police work."

Yeah. I know the Gangster Disciples are really a church group and there's no reason the police should dog them.

The fascinating thing about gang lunacy is how a member of a gang always becomes the biggest threat to another member of the same gang. So gangs develop a policy of self-extermination which seems to turn most gang members into paranoid head cases.

You wrote:

"BTW talking about the medical murder the way you did makes you a dry snitch. The worse kind."

Gee. That makes me feel bad. But should I be surprised that you think a murderer should succeed in killing his wife?

Unfortunately, there are too many people like you, who believe black criminals are somehow worthy of a free pass.

Here's something to consider. My son lost his new DS video game gizmo on the bus ride home from school last week. Turns out two kids on the bus saw it fall from his pocket, waited till he got off the bus and then one of them grabbed it.

Long story short, I know who took it and in a day or so the kid and the kid's mother will hand it over.

How do I know? I got in touch with the kids on the bus and one of the two kids who saw the DS fall out of my son's pocket ratted out the other kid. Both the witness and the perp are black girls.

A similar bit of nonsense came up a couple of years ago when someone stole my other son's cell phone out of his gym locker.

Like all morons who steal cell phones, this one immediately called a few friends. All I had to do was check my on-line phone records for calls made after the theft and I knew who the idiot was calling. I called the same people and had the thief's name in minutes. Care to guess his race?

The theft occurred in school, thus, the school was involved and the thief got booted for a while. Moreover, he was a well known problem at the school, which has tough policies on behavior.

As for the murdered wife, there way be a way to get the case reopened. As I said, her husband was clever. She had a medical condition a little like asthma. But much worse. She depended on inhalers to clear her airways when the condition flared.

They took an unusual trip way out into the mountains of NY where no one with a breathing problems like hers would get emergency medical attention fast enough to survive. They also went where the police were more accustomed to writing an occasional traffic ticket than solving clever murders.

It would take Columbo to solve this one. However, since the killer already confessed to one person, and I have no doubt the replacement girlfriend also knows the truth, the cops should have little trouble cracking the case -- if they come to realize they have a murder on their hands.

David B. Dancy said...

Blah Blah

no_slappz said...

dbd,

As expected, the kid who took my son's DS video game gizmo coughed it up.

Meanwhile, Obama has shown no signs of supporting the notion of drug legalization. It's pipe-dream. The closest the country will come is to force people into treatment programs rather than into jail.