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Ex-Police Officer Says End War On Drugs.

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US TX: Edu: Speaker Presents Argument Against Drug Prohibition

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URL: http://www.mapinc.or...2/n164/a02.html

Newshawk: Kirk

Votes: 1

Pubdate: Tue, 28 Feb 2012

Source: University Star (Texas State University - San Marcos, Edu)

Copyright: 2012 The University Star

Contact: starletters@txstate.edu

Website: http://www.star.txstate.edu

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/4256

Author: Mark Wilson






A retired narcotics detective led students in a brief Q-and-A following a speech on America's "failed" drug war Thursday night.


Russ Jones, ex-narcotics detective, speaks Feb. 23 at the Students for Liberty meeting regarding the United States' "failed" drug war.


Russ Jones has been employed across the world as a drug expert. After fighting against drugs for the majority of his career, he now speaks against their prohibition.


Jones said after being honorably discharged from the military in 1970, he became a police officer.


"As a police officer on the streets, drugs were not a problem," he said.


Jones said gangs and organized crime groups who focus on the distribution of drugs did not exist during his early career. He said senior officers advised him to simply deliver a slap on the wrist to those caught smoking marijuana and tell them not to do it again.


"That was about the time Nixon declared the war on drugs," he said.


Jones became a detective, uncovering and infiltrating criminal groups including La Nuestra Familia and the Hells Angels, who are known for distribution of Methamphetamine.


Jones had so much success that he was invited to countries such as Russia and China to lend a hand with drug issues there.


However, he said that by 1980, just 10 years later, the drug war had failed by every measurable standard.


"Drugs were cheaper, stronger, more plentiful and more people were using them," he said.


Jones said drug prohibition is no different than alcohol prohibition, a time during which people were driven to very hard liquor with a higher concentration of alcohol.


Jones said when substances are illegal they are often transported and shipped in their most potent form due to the large risks taken by suppliers. What ends up on the streets is extremely powerful.


As a result, people are switching from cocaine to crack and amphetamine to methamphetamine.


Jones is not alone in his negative view on the war on drugs, but said the only real hope for change will come in the form of a grassroots movement due to the political liability of coming out against the drug war.


Some politicians and states have taken steps to reduce the penalties for those caught using drugs such as marijuana. Jones, however, said this "decriminalization" of drugs, a term he does not like to use, only propagates the same problems encountered today.


He said without legalization and taxation, however low the penalties are, the drug trade remains in the hands of cartels and criminals, which leads to violence and criminal activity.


"There are no street gangs today selling batches of gin on our street corners. There are no street gangs today hiring kids to run tobacco from one street corner to the other," he said. "When is the last time you heard of a drive-by shooting between Bud light and Coors?"


Andrew Kaluza, University of Texas-San Antonio student, made the drive from San Antonio to hear Jones speak.


Kaluza said that members of his family are involved in law enforcement entities targeted at drugs.


"I am vehemently against prohibition," he said. "Coming from a family with members in the DEA, border patrol, and a lot of other prohibiting law enforcement wings, I have a hard time at Thanksgiving getting together and talking about this. I find it highly immoral."


Jones said the officers of prohibitive organizations are simply enforcing the law as it written, but the problem is the laws are flawed.


Peter Dirks, president of Texas State's Young Americans for Liberty, said their group worked hand in hand with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to bring Jones to speak at Texas State.


Dirks said that the majority of people incarcerated today are doing time for nonviolent drug offenses.


"I believe in individual rights," he said. "The government should only exist to protect someone else from harm."

MAP posted-by: Matt

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many, many, many... police, politicians, lawyers, doctors, leo organizations, ex-dea, mayors... many reasonable people support a more rational, adult approach to the whole matter... well beyond medical marijuana even.


often they keep quiet until after they retire tho...??? makes you wonder what really drives the prohibition.

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