Indeed, they do. In our peculiar obsession to track down the Willie Nelsons, the Rush Limbaughs and now the Michael Phelpses of society -- nonviolent, victimless imbibers of drugs -- we've actually made society less safe. That's the conclusion of 10,000 cops, prosecutors, judges and others who make up the membership of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Howard Wooldridge, LEAP's Washington representative, is a former cop and detective who lectures civic clubs and congressional staffers on the futility of drug laws that reduce public safety by wasting time and money. He points to child pornography as just one example.
As of last April, he says, law enforcement had identified 623,000 computers containing child pornography, including downloadable video of child rape. Only a fraction of those have been pursued with search warrants, thanks to limited resources and staff shortages. What's worse, Wooldridge says, is that three times out of five a search warrant also produces a child victim on the premises.
Another example: Last year, Human Rights Watch reported that as many as 400,000 rape kits containing evidence were sitting unopened in criminal labs and storage facilities. Between the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County sheriff's office, nearly 12,000 kits were unopened, according to an NPR report in December.
The sad thing about this is that it should be common sense that locking up more than three quarter of a million people for smoking weed(in 2007) is absurd. But Jeebus hates drugs, so off we go.
(I will spend the rest of the day perusing the bible to find the exact jeebus qoute on that.)
Update: 100 years of drug war. Weeeeeee!