Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The public policy problem with legalization is that many drugs are inherently dangerous; the legal problem is that they are illegal under federal law and the states have no power to trump federal law in this case. But making the drug trade less attractive may be a goal people in the legislature and our communities could rally around. We need would a series of ideas and programs to give the concept some weight.

Decriminalization of individual drug purchases without legalization of drugs would not make the drug trade less attractive for drug dealers. It would expand the market for illegal drugs and thus the profitablility of illegal drugs.Making the drug trade less attractive would have to move in the opposite direction of making it less profitable by finding new ways to reduce demand for illegal drugs. Improved education about them, better rehabilitation, greater use of legal substitutes and other things that could reduce demand would undermine the profitability of selling drugs.

July 21, 2007


Anyone frustrated at difficulties in cracking down on drug dealers should try to involve the drug unit of the D.A.'s office. Their presence tends to both reassure recalcitrant witnesses and to help focus an overworked and underappreciated police force on the need to crack down on a given area.Assistant D.A,'s specializing in drug prosecution also can be very good at spotting patterns, and focusing both residents and police on the specific proof needed to gain criminal convictions that stick on appeal in a given case.Another group of enforcement personnel you might want to involve is the Department of Licenses and Inspections, who might help shut down a drug house if it is supposed to be used for some legitimate commercial purpose.The Philadelphia Police Department is Philadelphia's number one law enforcement agency, but it is neither all-powerful nor all-responsible for the city's crime. Adding other agencies to your community's efforts can help the Police Department reach peak effectiveness.

April 27, 2007



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