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Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 in About Blackacre, Blackacre, Crack cocaine, crime, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice System Reform, Forgiveness, incarceration, Justice, Leadership, Leo Barron Hicks, Opioids, politics, Poverty, Prison, Progressive policy, Progressive Think Tank, Progressives, Public Policy, Reconciliation, Shame, social welfare, Think Tank, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Crack vs. Opioids, the Arbitrary Nature of the War on Drugs and Social Rejection

 

Are we the only ones who see a problem here? Are we the only ones concerned with how some people who self-medicate to dull the pain of living are thrown in jail while others who do the same thing are deserving of sympathy and treatment?

No quarter is given or compassion afforded to crack cocaine users. They are publicly tarred and feathered; scorned and criticized. Those caught selling and/or using the drug are summarily arrested, prosecuted and sent to prison.

In fact, with the untimely death of college basketball star Len Bias, the law subjected crack users to 100 times the criminal exposure and severity of powder cocaine users, even though the drugs are one and the same.

Jump forward to the opioid crises of today. Opioid users are also self-medicating and they too are engaged in criminal activity. But the societal response is completely different.

Opioid users are not viewed as scum, deserving only of public scorn and banishment. They are instead seen as victims requiring treatment and public support.

Ironically enough, we agree with this approach. The War on Drugs is an unmitigated disaster. Users, no matter the drug, should not be criminalized and substance abuse is not a simple character flaw.

Still, we fail to see any material difference between the two groups. So why the double standard?

Why is $45 million in treatment now earmarked to combat the opioid epidemic while hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent building new prisons to incarcerate crack users? Why is taking methamphetamine a legitimate cry for help while taking crack is a unforgiveable public offense? Why is one group of illegal drug users entitled to compassionate treatment while others are considered dangerous criminals, to be forever locked away in prison?

Just asking.

6 Comments

  1. AT THE ROUEN PRISON in ENGLISH OCCUPIED NORTHERN FRANCE (May 1431)

    Conscience:
    Heroine-turned-Saint? (or) Saint-turned-to-Heroin?

    Joan of Arc:
    Why are you trying to hurt me?
    Do you get pleasure from hurting me?

    Conscience:
    Ah pleasure.
    When did the pain end and your pleasure
    begin with that nee-dle in-your hand?

    • Only my good friend and a great tennis player could bring Joan of Arc into this discussion. Thanks Eric.

  2. So true and the many churches just sit back and do nothing.. How many times have you heard pastors or religious leader utter, “The church is a hospital for the sick!” Daily nothing is done. If you have an ache or pain the doctors due. It believe in holistic treatment but the do not hesitate to write two or mor pain prescriptions that are quite expensive. Wake up people and stop being a slave to the system.

    • Thanks Ms. Wilson. I agree whole heartedly with your comments.

  3. Interesting questions Leo. These questions are yet to be answered that is acceptable to all people. The signing of the free trade agreement opened up major distribution channels for the cartel. This created opportunity for good as well as evil economic gain. This is a problem that spread so fast that an absolute solution is fleeting. Economics is behind it all thereby, hindering an absolute solution.

    • Thanks my friend.

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