Tag Archive: War on Drugs

Senators consider adding new mandatory minimums for fentanyl

The drugs fentanyl and carfentanil have been playing outsized roles in the opioid epidemic, which is already high-profile. Fentanyl is considered to be about 100 times more powerful than morphine, while carfentanil is perhaps 10,000 times more powerful. Yet even though carfentanil is meant to tranquilize large mammals like rhinos and hippopotamuses, the drug is sometimes mixed with heroin or other opiates used by addicts. These potent synthetic opioids pose a real risk to law enforcement, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He recently warned officers to avoid any exposure to the drugs, as people are overdosing in record numbers. He warns that America doesn’t have time to debate whether the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis or... Read More »

CDC: Opioid abuse costs $78 billion a year. Treatment cuts that.

"The most important reason to support treatment is to improve the well-being and social function of people with addiction disorders," writes the co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. But "the economic value of crime reduction largely or totally offsets the costs of treatment." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost to the public sector of prescription opioid abuse, addiction and overdose response, combined with the cost of the related crime, is $23 billion a year. The cost to the private sector in terms of healthcare expenses and lost job productivity is another $55 billion. The total yearly economic burden of substance abuse is somewhere in the hundreds of billions. Those costs are skyrocketing. Around... Read More »

Do you think Drug Free America should make marijuana policy?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Friday, April 14, 2017

Drug Free America and its lobbying arm, Save Our Society From Drugs, opposed last year’s amendment to allow wider use of medical marijuana in Florida. Now, despite 71 percent of voters having an opposing view, the group is having a major impact on how the medical cannabis program is being structured. Some argue their impact is oversized. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Drug Free America sent lawmakers a list of suggestions, and 43 of them have already made it into the bill. By contrast, none of the language suggested by Florida for Care, one of the amendment’s authors, made it into the bill. "The suggestion that Drug Free America should be involved in the implementing language is absolutely ludicrous,"... Read More »

It’s impossible to accurately measure THC impairment. Now what?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Thursday, April 6, 2017

In a recent appellate case in another state, a DUI defense attorney brought forward some pretty compelling evidence that the usual methods police use to determine whether someone is under the influence simply don’t apply to marijuana. No level of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive compound, has been shown to cause more impairment than someone would experience at a 0.05 blood alcohol level. Moreover, there’s currently no Breathalyzer-style test for THC impairment because no "red line" level for illegal driving has been established. Florida, like about half of the states and the District of Columbia, has legalized marijuana for at least some purposes. Here, marijuana is allowed for certain medical purposes. Even someone with a medical marijuana card, however, is prohibited from... Read More »

Sessions: No end to the Drug War, crackdown on gun use

At a recent event before mostly local, state and federal law enforcement officers, newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a clear message to those who believe the War on Drugs has created America’s racist incarceration crisis. He does not plan to scale back that so-called war. According to the Courthouse News Service, Sessions seems to hold the false belief that violent crime is on the rise in the U.S. and that drug distribution is the reason. Moreover, Sessions blames the recent increase in opioid-related heroin addiction in America on "Mexican drug cartels…producing new, low-cost heroin" — a novel understanding of that issue. In fact, most scholars point to evidence that violent crime is at an historic low across... Read More »