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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rethinking Crime—Again

John J. Di Iulio, Jr. wrote a piece for with the self-explanatory title above. Di Iulio was appointed in January 2001 by President George W. Bush to head the newly created White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. The subtitle is below in italics, and below that I excerpt from a list of six suggestions Di Iulio makes after having thoroughly parsed crime statistics and other sociological stuff. Read the whole piece here.

The 15-year decline in violent crime is not nearly as great a success story as you might think. The time is right for a new—and broader—crime bill.

Legalize marijuana for medically prescribed uses, and seriously consider decriminalizing it altogether. Last year there were more than 800,000 marijuana-related arrests. The impact of these arrests on crime rates was likely close to zero. There is almost no scientific evidence showing that pot is more harmful to its users’ health, more of a "gateway drug," or more crime-causing in its effects than alcohol or other legal narcotic or mind-altering substances. Our post-2000 legal drug culture has untold millions of Americans, from the very young to the very old, consuming drugs in unprecedented and untested combinations and quantities. Prime-time commercial television is now a virtual medicine cabinet ("just ask your doctor if this drug is right for you"). Big pharmaceutical companies function as all-purpose drug pushers. And yet we expend scarce federal, state, and local law enforcement resources waging "war" against pot users. That is insane.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

Julie Holland is a veteran shrink at Bellevue, the famous psyche hospital. She advocates the therapeutic use of cannabis and has seen encouraging results treating psychoses with LSD, psilocybin and ecstasy when classic medications don't work or have serious contraindications. Here's her story: