Another Drug War victim. Are we fed up yet?

One would think after Atlanta police killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, that they would get the idea, but they haven’t. Last Friday, 1/4/08, a SWAT team, serving an ordinary drug search warrant, invaded the Ohio home of Tarika Wilson – an innocent woman – shot and killed her, and shot her one-year-old son. “They went in that home shooting,” her mother said at a vigil that night. The boy lost at least one of his fingers. Two dogs were shot too.

Sgt. Joseph A. Chavalia, 52, who has been with Lima police for 30 years, was placed on administrative leave following the fatal shooting of Tarika Wilson, 26. Her 14-month-old son, Sincere Wilson, who was in her arms when she was shot, was wounded by the gunfire.

Just fucking sick. I realize there’s a war going on, and the economy sucks, and everybody’s worries about how their medical expenses are getting paid, and there are a lot of important issues, but I cannot understand why more people are not out and out revolted by the toll the War on Drugs has caused.

Even if this isn’t the #1 issue of our times, it’s easily top 5, and yet it falls completely off the radar of most of our politicians.

That only happens because you fail to make it an important issue. How many more people have to die in drive-by shootings, no-knock raids, and drug overdoses before we begin to agree that this is abomination needs to end?

It’s just nice to see organizations like LEAP and DRCnet gaining momentum.

It’s because people are absolutely brainwashed by the government’s line on this one. Also you forgot the astronomical monetary costs, the fact that we have more people in prison than any other country, etc.

I think the problem is that the best strategies for dealing with this are also vote-losers. I don’t know what to do about it… well, of course if I were in a position of political power I’d know what to do, but I don’t know how to go about persuading people that… insanity is insanity. It’s like trying to think up an explanation for why blue is blue. It ought to be self-evident, and in the face of people believing the opposite, where do you begin?

The DEA at least has been in a whole heap of internal trouble since 9/11. If there’s any governmental agency that is in most need of purging and/or budget cuts, this is it.

Also great points. You release every single non-violent drug inmate who has behaved well in prison, and suddenly we don’t have to cut violent criminal’s sentences short! What a concept!

When you consider how much property crime and violent crime are a direct result of the War on Drugs, I’d be shocked if the overall crime rate didn’t plummet by 33% or more in the decade following drug decriminalization.

I’m with you, Machfive. Unfortunately lots of people just won’t budge on the subject. I’m reminded of a conversation from around the time I moved from the U.S. to the Netherlands, and I was talking about it to one of my friend’s moms. I was subjected to a tirade along the lines of “Did you know that drugs are legal there? What, do they think it’s good for you? Don’t they care that their kids will be doing drugs?” There’s no way I could have convinced her that decriminalization in America would be good for reducing drug violence, redirecting police resources to more important ends, and the right of folks to pursue happiness peacefully in the way they see fit.

I think the thing that annoys me most when I try and talk to people on this issue is I always get accused of wanting to legalize drugs so that I can use drugs. I blame NORML for this; my stance is that you either legalize it all, or legalize nothing, because once you start playing favorites it becomes about drug use, not about the failings of prohibition as a policy.

For the record, I’ll pass any drug test you throw at me, because now that I’ve quit tobacco, the only drugs I put in my system are alcohol, ibuprofen, and caffiene.

But I still get called a druggy when I try and argue for an end to this debacle.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic, FUCK DARE.

You don’t have to go as far as legalization of drugs. I’m all for most drugs that are currently illegal staying that way. We just need to take a common-sense approach to it and stop doing things like, say, jail terms for drug users and extremely harsh sentences for all but the largest-scale dealers, and no-knock raids, and not allowing medicinal marijuana use, and so forth and so on. I do think things like heroin and cocaine are worth criminalizing, but christ, not like this.

That fails though because it allows the drug dealers to continue to exist. If they can still sell coke, dope, and speed, then guess what, they’re going to continue to be a blight on our neighborhoods and on society.

The only way to put them out of business is to decriminalize it all. If Tylenol wants to put meth in a bottle and sell it, then go right ahead. As long as Suzy Trailertrash isn’t doing it in her double-wide and poisoning her babies with toxic fumes, as long as Johnny Cartel isn’t killing witnesses to his prosecution, as long as Homeless McJunkystein isn’t sharing needles and passing on HIV and HepC to other addicts, society is better off, even if the drugs are still available.

Like i’ve said before, ask the drug companies to come up with cheap, synthetic, as-non-addictive-as-you-can-make replacement drugs and you’ll make everyone happy.

It really is a tragedy when innocent people die and doubly so if there isn’t an outcry against the injustice. I mean, Britain once went to war over an ear ( an historic McGuffin). Innocent mothers being shot to death in the name of national policies should have enormous repercussions. I’m not just bothered by this War on Drugs, but on the electorates’ passivity and indiffence to their own suffering and “oppression” by the State. We’re not serfs, yet; we don’t need to take it like Gogol’s or Chekov’s peasants would.

I’ve known several drug addicts over the years who just can’t kick the habit. They lose their families, their careers, their futures. They know it, and yet they keep going back. Making drugs easier to get doesn’t solve the problem, it makes it worse as you would then throw open availability to the public-at-large, and there would be huge numbers of addicts overnight.

Be sure to check out the Lima City SWAT team’s webpage!

The Lima Police Department’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team work consists of the service of high risk search warrants, handling hostage/barricade situations, protection for the President and Presidential Canidates, and a wide range of other situations. The SWAT Team averages 50 operations per year. The majority of the teams operations consists of serving search warrants on “crack houses”.

Other duties fulfilled by SWAT Teams members are threat assessments of various businesses and public buildings, also researching and developmenting tactical training for the police department at large.

Someone care to explain to me why a town of 40,000 needs a SWAT team? Gotta love the militarization of police forces… hey, at least these guys are protecting us! Bring on firm gun control.

Didn’t the Chinese government largely end opium addiction after the Communists took power?

Say, was he an alcoholic? Because that sounds an awful lot like one. In response to Destarius, that is.

Think of all the money that the government would save by abandoning the futile war on drugs, money that could be re-allocated to better addiction treatment programs.

Hell, legalize pot and some of the other safer drugs, then apply a sin tax to it, with a portion of those revenues being used to directly fund drug rehabilitation initiatives.

Erm, I wouldn’t use Chinese enforcement tactics to try and make a point. There ain’t no appealing a bullet in the head.

Anyway, my two cents, legalizing drugs does have problems of its own, but it is massively better than A. The current enforcement policies and B. The current drug culture/crimes. If we have to let it all in, then so be it, although I would ideally like to see some system where the soft stuff is regulated and educated, while the hard stuff is phased out.


I know people who lose their families, careers, and futures on MMORPGS. Should we make them illegal too? Okay, so that’s a bit of a silly example by my point stands that there are people who aren’t in good places in their own heads. People who will find a method to ruin their own lives regardless. Through their own lack of self control.

This isn’t a black and white issue of course, so I’m in favor of the worst stuff remaining illegal but legalization would free up a LOT of money that we currently put into the drug war. Money that could instead go to helping addicts get treatment. It’s probably cheaper to provide completely free treatment, housing, and feeding in treament clinics to every addict who wanted help than it is to incarcerate the otherwise inoffensive people we have in prison on drug charges.

The problem is that you can’t just say “make it illegal”, you have to say “make it illegal AND inaccessible”. Remember, we’re trying to prevent rather than just punish, because punishment has absolutely, definitively been proven to not work in regards to drugs.


Suddenly, the inexplicably stupid actions of SWAT teams are explicable.

I’m wondering what you would do.