Props to the Cops Vol. 29

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

“On October 28, 2011, at approximately 1630 hours, Officers from our Narcotics Division executed a search warrant in the 3200 block of Park Place, NW. A large amount of narcotics and two firearms were seized from this location.

Two suspects were placed under arrested and are facing drugs and weapons charges.”

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46 Comment

  • Props, indeed. Nice work.

    Can we start a “house of shame” list, or something of that sort? Some way to publicly shame trouble/problem houses that are known drug houses?

  • Observing with hindsight all the cops who chased after bootleg whiskey runners in the 1920s, the first reaction isn’t to give “props”, but to marvel at the sheer unwinnable, societally corrosive stupidity of the Prohibition.

    At some point, we have to ask ourselves whether the collateral damage of a “War on Drugs” is worth whatever benefit we’re getting out of it.

    • You must be new here.

    • No more dealers on the corner of my block and no more threats to kill a ‘snitch’. Yeah I’ve seen a small benefit.

      • Both of those problems are caused by the *criminalization* of drugs, not the drugs per se.

        Nobody is robbing me for beer money, nobody is selling whiskey to kids on the streetcorner, and the local wine store doesn’t threaten to kill snitches.

        • The point is that nobody robbed you for those things. Of course, if we made muder legal then there would would be less crime, too. What IS HAPPENING is people are getting robbed, killed, and lives are getting destroyed for drugs . Legalizing it will not solve all those problems. If only there was a way for people like you to see all the damage drugs do the way I do.

          I offer an unconditional thank you to MPD for this operation!

          • your analogy to murder makes no sense at all.

            no one is arguing that drug dealing isn’t a huge problem within our current environment. however, the comparison to prohibition is one you might not want to dismiss so flippantly.

          • the argument has become silly. most people favor legalization. and most people understand that if you break the current laws you should be punished.

            a big problem is that most people in america do not vote.

          • the problem is not that most americans dont vote, its that the politicians work for people that give them money aka the top 1%. whats the point of voting? change we can believe in brother.

          • The ratio of people who favor legalization is now 50/50. It just reached 50%, after sitting at 46% last year.

          • I’ve never heard of someone robbing or killing someone for a 5 th of whiskey. I have for a rock.

        • Let’s deal with the criminals first, then the drug laws.

        • There has been a significant amount of academic research attributing a large part of the rise in violent crime in the 1980s to the spread of crack throughout U.S. urban areas. Criminal networks fought over turf and addicts committed crimes to get their fix. As people were locked up, crime fell. Therefore, the police lauded for continuing to address this scourge.

    • You have no base in reality. Entire neighborhoods are made safer when one house is busted. Happened on our block and I’m eternally grateful. I don’t care for your pie in the sky ideology, which is indicative of someone with nothing real at stake.

    • AMEN. Legalize, regulate and tax the hell out of it.

    • GCK – I actually agree with you that prohibition is misguided and ineffective, but I think you miss the point.

      Props to the cops for getting drugs off my street because drugs are so incredibly harmful? No.

      Props to the cops for busting someone who was running a business that includes “shooting people” in its business plan (regardless of whether that business is drugs or not).

      I don’t have a problem with loaning money in principle, but I would be glad to hear that a loan shark that “served” my community was off the street. Same thing.

  • Good response focused at the core of at least some of the action, spelling out clear, crisp consequences. Wonder if it will stick and more importantly make a difference in the community, improve community/police cooperation, and reduce drug related gun violence in DC.

  • A big thanks to the Officer for giving my car a jump start today (and mobility in the cold, rainy snow) after I had absentmindedly left my headlights on all afternoon!

  • I wonder if the drugs they recovered were actually narcotics. Police have a detestable habit of using the term to describe all drugs.

    Of course, most drugs – marijuana and cocaine included – aren’t narcotics.

    They must have seized some heroin or opium.

  • To the folks that point to Prohibition as an example of what’s wrong with the war on drugs, there is actually plenty of evidence to suggest that Prohibition worked. Rates of consumption plummeted, even after after the 18th amendment was repealed. Rates of alcohol-related illnesses fell dramatically. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that rates of consumption reached pre-Prohibition levels. Yes organized crime flocked to illegal alcohol during Prohibition, but even after the 18th amendment was repealed, organized crime continued (and does to this day). The fact of the matter is that as long as ANYTHING is illegal, there will be those who are willing to commit crimes in order to try to make money off of it. And the number of deaths caused this criminal activity pale in comparison to the number of deaths caused by alcohol on a yearly basis.

    • Of course prohibition lowered consumption. But that fact alone doesn’t make it an effective policy.

      • that entirely not true. durring prohibition it was EASIER to get alcohol. no age restrictions. not quantity restrictions. no time constraints.

        thats why consumption plummeted after the repeal.

    • Prohibition was the most lawless time in American history, because Americans liked to drink alcohol, and they weren’t going to stop just because some politicians said so. Rates of consumption didn’t plummet. Drinking just became more covert and less reported.

      Not to mention that people started getting injured by exploding homemade stills…

      • more lawless than now? you sure?

        • This raises an interesting point, and that is how do you define lawlessness? Governments used to be far less intrusive in the lives of citizens; there were fewer laws to be broken.

          Prohibition was insane because it made the consumption of alcohol not just illegal, but unconstitutional. A large portion of the American population continued to drink during Prohibition,and large numbers of people violated the U.S. Constitution on a weekly basis. We certainly don’t have that today.

          Of course, It’s difficult to make comparisons between criminality today and during the pre-Controlled Substances Act-era; ditto the criminal-industrial complex. Also, criminality data only goes back so far.

          However, extant data shows: the murder rate in the U.S. reached its peak levels two times, The first was during Prohibition. The second was between 1970 and the mid-1990s (which just so happen to be the ‘War on Drugs’ years.)

  • And the “legalize and tax it like alcohol” argument also isn’t persuasive. Alcohol is extremely expensive on society from both an enforcement and a public health standpoint. Whatever revenue the government is able to raise from the legal sale of alcohol doesn’t even come close to offseting its costs in terms of health care, regulation, and criminal enforcement. And those costs only rise the more that acohol becomes readily available. (Arrests for alcohol-related offenses actually exceed the number of arrests for all other drug offenses combined.) There is no reason to think the same wouldn’t happen with other drugs.

  • If drug use were truly a victimless crime, I would agree with you. But the fact of the matter is that drug use, regardless of its legality, comes at a high societal cost.

    For example, drug abuse is a key factor in most child abuse cases. Here in DC, 90 percent of reported child abusers are also drug abusers. In Maryland, one-third of all car accidents involve drivers who test positive for marijuana. If drugs were legal, these numbers would only get worse, as it happened with alcohol.

  • Drug use is a victimless crime.

    The two things you described, child abuse and DUI, are each crimes themselves, separate and distinct from drug use.

    If you feel the efficacy of simply controlling people’s behavior outweighs the principle of personal freedom, then we can agree to disagree.

    But if you’re going to go down that road, there are a whole lot of behaviors correlated with crime that you would have to outlaw.

    • Really??? Really?!?

      How are you going to draw a line between a crack addict, and his then robbing people, and stealing copper etc to feed his habit?

      Sure, they are seperate crimes. However, him being a crack addict, caused him to rob to feed his habit.

      • Yes, really, Kyle W.

        Crack didn’t make him steal. Crack plus poverty made him steal.

        The reason you don’t see people stealing for booze money is mainly that being an alcoholic doesn’t preclude a person from gainful employment, and to a lesser extent that booze is relatively cheap as a result of it’s legality.

        The inherent difference between alcohol and crack is pretty far down on the list.

    • it is important to hold on to your idealistic views.
      and yes, you will probably continue to disagree with those of us that agree with you in principle, but based on pragmatic views of law and society come to different conclusions as to where the law should fall.

      it takes our kind and my kid to form great societies.

      • Before I get any more Anonymouses telling me condescendingly to leave policy for the adults, let me just say this: I have seen 2 blood relatives have their lives destroyed by heroin (1 lost his medical license, the other spent 6 years in prison), and I still feel the way I do about it. I submit that it is you, not I, that is preaching from the ivory tower.

        • i wrote what you are responding to and i was being sincere. though i had a mistake, it should have read it takes our kind and your kind to form great societies. i apologize that it sounded like condescension.

    • By contrast, if you accept the fact making drugs more readily available will necessarily lead to more drug-related deaths, higher health care costs, and costlier enforcement (as history has taught us with other legalized drugs), and you still see no compelling reason to maintain tight restrictions on their use, then again, we’ll have to agree to disagree. I understand that child abuse is a crime. But if it can be shown that drug use directly leads to more battered kids, do you not see how this is an increased burden on society? The point isn’t that there are already laws on the books against child abuse. The point is that, if we legalize, we as a society will be forced to shoulder a much greater cost in order to enforce those laws and to deal with the increased human tragedy that will inevitably result.

      • Right – I’m not denying any of your assumptions (e.g. there would be more drug-related deaths).

        I am disagreeing with the conclusion that drugs should be controlled in the way that they currently are.

        Why? Because I think that morally speaking, individual liberty far outweighs the (false) idea that we can
        protect people from themselves.

        • If you’re willing to acknowledge that legalizing drugs would lead to more drug-related deaths (and not just deaths by the people that use them), then the question you have to ask yourself is, how many deaths are you willing to tolerate before you are willing to accept a certain level of restriction on your individual right to get high? This is an honest question. We as a society have decided that the enjoyment that we get from recreational drinking is worth the increased costs that we pay every year in alcohol-related fatalities. We are free to reach the same conclusion with respect to other drugs. But in doing so, we must go into it with open eyes; being honest with ourselves about the huge societal costs that legalization would necessarily entail.

  • I completely acknowledge that.

    I don’t think we as a society ever did the cost-benefit analysis with drinking either though.

    I think it pretty much came down to the powerful people in our society deciding that alcohol was their drug of choice (for reasons of… um… tradition?), and that everyone else can eat cake.

  • Well played, drug warriors, well played. It is now IMPOSSIBLE to make a cell phone call/text/e-mail and in 15 minutes have weed delivered. (or coke, but they are the most unreliable ones ever… they say 15 minutes, but well, you know…TOTALLY unreliable!)
    Any…who… um, that’s what someone told me about the victory in the War on drugs in the City of Eternal War – my home town. go team !

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