Archive for the ‘Police Corruption and the ‘War on Drugs’’ Category

“To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.” (Berman, Guggenheim, & Silver, 2001) *See Video Link 1* One of the many memorable quotes from Training Day (2001) the police thriller that has captivated popular culture and has cemented the cast and crew in Hollywood. The movie follows a typical narrative story line involving police work and corruption. Starring Denzel Washington as Detective Alonzo Harris of the Los Angeles narcotics unit and Jake Hoyt, a rookie cop fresh out of training joining the narcotics unit, played by Ethan Hawke.

As the title suggests this is literally Jake Hoyts (Ethan Hawke) first day – training day – in the narcotics unit. The progression of the Jakes training day reveals the culture within the narcotics unit in Los Angeles as Detective Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) presents it to his new recruit (and us). The legal norms are illustrated through Jakes actions throughout the movie – the consensus perspective – the rules of policing that are clearly defined and yet we get a glimpse of the group norms of the narcotics unit depicted through the actions and words of Detective Alonzo.

In the first scene of the movie, in the diner, the nervousness seeps through Jakes body language and tone as he speaks. We also meet Detective Alonzo and right away we are shown his blatant demeanor; his excessive use of profanities does not uphold the universal CORE value of professionalism. But perhaps this is the culture in the plain clothes division of the L.A. narcotics unit. When Jake enters the 1979 Chevy Monte Carol ‘Office’ of Det. Alonzo, he gets the spiel from Detective Alonzo of what is required of him and what it takes – which is to forget the academy training “because that shit will get you killed… you gotta hear the street, you gotta smell it, you gotta taste that shit – feel it”, according to Detective Alonzo (Berman, Guggenheim, & Silver, 2001). “Informal norms and rules that govern everyday decisions and practices,” (Loftus 2010) are mandatory to survive in the streets as we learn right off the bat.

ear grab training day

(more…)

Corruption is an extremely broad word, and can be defined in numerous ways. If one looked up the word corruption in the dictionary it will read, “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery “(Merriam-Webster Dictionary). I quite like this definition, except, it leaves out so many other contributing factors, and solely basis it on bribery. A more comprehensive definition of corruption is illustrated by Punch, when he states, corruption can be classified as: The abuse of authority, of the oath of office, of trust and it involves the misuse of police power and authority (Punch 2009).

In keeping with the misuse of police powers, Punch explains in-depth three typologies of deviance and corruption, grass-eaters, birds and meat-eaters (Punch, 2009). First we do a general overview of grass-eaters. Grass-eaters do not look for kickbacks, such as free coffee at Tim Hortons, or a free meal; however, when offered, these officers who engage in grass-eating do not decline. The birds are officers who do not indulge in deviant behaviors, they “fly high above it”. However, being a “bird” does not come without scrutiny, perhaps one does not participate in deviant ways, but perhaps they are well aware of the practices going on but fail to report it, due to the blue wall of silence (Punch, 2009). The blue wall of silence is something most officers uphold strongly. Police officers do not whistle-blow on each other and they have each others backs, even in the most corrupt ways. Finally, we have the meat-eaters, they are proactive carnivores. Meat eaters go out looking for ways to get graft (forms of money and or benefits) and organize arrangements to facilitate this (Punch,2009). They set out deals with drug dealers for mutual benefit, they compromise homicides, they are illicit in bribery, extortion and run illegal enterprises (Punch, 2009).

A prime example of meat-eating took place within the 25th district of the Philadelphia police department on July 13, 2010. Three officers, Mark Williams, Robert Snyder and James Venziale orchestrated an elaborate scheme to act outside the law with three drug dealers in a $15, 000 heist of Heroin (FBI, Philadelphia Division, 2011). The three Philadelphia police officers, ranging from 4-9 years on duty, organized a plan to place a traffic stop in downtown Philadelphia. They had worked with confidential informants and other drug dealers who told them where and when this car would be that was carrying 300 grams of Heroin. They were to stop the car, in a routine stop, arrest 1 drug dealer who was in the car and complicit in this deal and seize the drugs. However; there plan backfired when they tried to sell the heroin to an undercover Drug Enforcement agent who had been tipped off about this illegal seizure. The DEA had numerous audio and visual recording of these three police officers engaging in over 14 indictable offenses (FBI, Philadelphia Division, 2011).

These three officers engaged in something Punch calls, Meat-eating: predatory (strategic) corruption. Punch explains this as proactive aggressive efforts to regulate criminal markets and extort money from illegal enterprises. They also engaged in direct criminal involvement preying on competitors (stealing their drugs to resell them for their own personal gain). Williams, Snyder and Venziale all committed “direct criminal activities”, this is when one commits a crime that is in clear violation of criminal norms. They also committed “ opportunistic theft”, this can be defined as, stealing from arrestees, victims of crime, dead bodies, and from scenes of crimes (Punch, 2009).

The charges against Williams, Snyder and Venziale ranged from Conspiracy to attempted robbery. Williams was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years 3 months in state prison. Snyder pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years in state prison. Venziale provided the FBI with information leading to more aggressive charges being laid against Williams and Snyder. For this cooperation, Venziale received 42 months in state prison (FBI, Philadelphia Division, 2011).

This is a photo of all 3 men. link: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/photogallery/bad-cops.html?curPhoto=6

In summation, there are many categories and theoretical approaches to corruption; however, the most important thing to take away from this is, how not to fall prey to it.

link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCinB4Yc9_c

References

Punch, Maurice, 2009, Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing, Routledge, NY.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Philadelphia Division. Retrieved Jan, 24, 2013

http://www.fbi.gov/philadelphia/press-releases/2011/former-philadelphia-police-officer-sentenced-to-16-years-for-drug-conspiracy

Police corruption

Posted: January 29, 2013 by alishakhan13 in Food for Thought, Police Corruption and the 'War on Drugs'

 3 Chicago cops accused of robbing drug dealers, and selling drugs for cash incentives

            Police corruption is a controversial subject at the heart of policing debates and policing mandates everywhere around the world. According to Punch, police corruption refers to “an officer knowingly doing or not doing something that is against his or her duty for some form of financial or material gain or promise of such a gain (Punch, 2009). Although it took me quite a bit of time to find an article regarding police deviance, there was one news article that caught my attention. The article constitutes three Chicago-suburb cops robbing drug dealers of their stash while performing search warrants, and selling heroin, cocaine and marijuana for cash incentive.

Any police officer, who aggressively misuses their police powers for personal gain is a form of corruption. In the illegal act of the three Chicago men who stole from crooks for their own personal gain, they are visibly perceived as “meat-eaters.” Being labelled a meat-eater exemplifies an individual who makes deals either of mutual benefit to the parties involved or disobeying police power for their own personal gain. This article shows a clear understanding of how the three officers stole from crooks to by selling drugs to gain cash incentives for themselves, as they executed search warrants on homes and cars. Not only are these officers viewed as meat-eaters, but they are also perceived as a typology by Barker and Roebuck referred to as “opportunistic theft.”

According to Barker and Roebuck, opportunistic theft is stealing from individuals who have been arrested and crime victims or their corpse. In this article, the three Chicago police officers were stealing from crooks. As these officers were on duty executing warrants on homes and cars, they would rob local dealers of drugs and cash, and later sell the drugs for money. It is quite detrimental that these individuals would partake in illegal activities as a result their behaviour is consequently labelled as deviance and law-breaking. This form of behaviour leads to typology 3, which is known as “crusaders.”

Crusaders are known to be officers who detest criminals and search for these criminals with remorse. In addition, this leads to a one-sided war against crime which can then lead the officer into an act of deviance and law-breaking. The three police officers portray the typology crusaders, because their job is to protect their city and prevent crimes, they are the ones that are the criminals in this instance. As a result, these police officers are engaged in a one-sided war against crime and they have encountered acts of deviance and law-breaking.

References

Punch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. New York, NY: Routledge.

New York Daily News (2013, January 17). 3 Chicago-suburb cops accused of robbing drug dealers, selling cocaine. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/trio-charged-robbed-dealers-sold-cocaine-article-1.1241750

Image

From left: Matthew Hudak, Terrance O’Brien and John Cichy

    On January 16 2013, in Schaumburg, Illinois; three police officers were arrested after a two week DEA investigation took place. During the investigation, video and audio surveillance captured John Cichy, Matthew Hudak, and Terrance O’Brien robbing drug dealers of money, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in the time legal search warrants were to be carried out. Authorities located a storage locker in which the officers tucked away the confiscated drugs. Upon seizing the storage locker, 275 grams of cocaine were discovered.  A fourth unidentified man allegedly obtained the drugs from the storage locker and assisted the officers in re-selling it in the streets.

    Many connections can be drawn from this example of corrupt behavior by police officers, to the three level typology presented by Maurice Punch. The first typology explains types of officers; Cichy, Hudak, and O’Brien would identify as meat-eaters.  According to the Knapp Commission Report, meat-eaters are police officers who actively watch for situations that could extract them financial gain. Not only did the three officers rob drug dealers of illicit drugs and cash, but they also had a system set up to re-sell the drugs back into the community; definitely some meat-eating going on here. In Chicago, the minimum age requirement to become a police officer is 21 years of age; Hudak is 29 years old, Cichy is 30, and O’Brien is 47. It is unsettling to know that police officers who haven’t even been on the job for ten years could potentially fall down the wrong path so early in their career. I always knew that police corruption existed, but I had imagined it being police officers that had worked for 20-30 years on the police force before falling down a corrupt path.

    The second typology explains police corrupt practices as classified by Barker and Roebuck. This example of police deviance falls under the category ‘direct criminal activities’. According to Barker and Roebuck, direct criminal activities are clear violations of criminal norms committed by police officers.  Stealing is a criminal violation, and re-selling confiscated drugs makes this situation even worse. The third typology describes three levels of deviance; of the three, this example falls under ‘corruption within police domain.’ Corruption within the police domain describes a meat-eater as an officer that searches aggressively for ways to extort money from legal and illegal enterprises. The police officers are also involved in incriminating activities themselves. Obtaining a storage locker to reserve confiscated drugs only strengthens the belief that these officers were actively searching for enterprises to extort money from and that there were not any signs of slowing down.

    Cichy, Hudak, and O’Brien are being held in lieu of $750, 000 bails each, pending the result of the investigation.

References:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/trio-charged-robbed-dealers-sold-cocaine-article-1.1241750
https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath

Police corruption in its narrow, legalistic sense generally refers to: an officer knowingly doing or not doing something that is against his or her duty for some form of financial or material gain or promise of such gain (Punch 2009). The roots of police corruption can be traced back to the early 1750’s and has evolved into a growing epidemic not only in third world countries but also in developed countries such as the U.S and Canada. Rampant police corruption is an important widespread concern in various countries such as Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, etc.,

Police officers can engage in various forms of corruption such as accepting bribes to facilitate certain crimes, turn a blind eye to certain illegal activities and openly disregard the official police “code of conduct” to secure convictions. These are the most commonly prevailing forms of police corruption. Very rarely do police officers themselves systematically take part in organized crime activities. On August 24 2012, Mexican federal police agents attacked and opened fire on a United States embassy vehicle, resulting in the injury of two U.S Embassy employees and a Mexican navy official. 12 federal officers are being investigated in relation to five charges which includes attempted murder, making false statements and accusations of covering up the attack. The accused officials claim that it was a case of mistaken identity and they fired upon the wrong vehicle while pursuing a kidnapping case but circumstantial evidence put forward by Mexican prosecutors prove otherwise. The U.S. Embassy has called the attack an “ambush” as photos of the grey Toyota SUV, a model frequently used by DEA agents and other U.S. Embassy employees working in Mexico, showed it to be riddled with heavy gunfire. Prosecutors have said that the police officers were wearing civilian clothes and driving private cars during the attack and afterwards they changed into their uniforms and used their patrol cars before driving to the police station, which strongly lends credibility to the fact that it was a planned attack rather than a duty operation. Though this brazen daylight attack might come as a surprise for many viewers among the public, systematic police corruption have reached epidemic proportions in Mexico. The recent sacking of more than 150 police officers in northern Mexico for having links with “organised crime”, highlights the extension to which corruption is embedded within the broader Mexican police organisations.More on this issue can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21095012

According to the three-level typology of police deviance/corruption explained by Maurice Punch, this would represent a classic example of “police institutional failure”, which comes under the broader context of System failure. Prosecutors opened an investigating into whether the U.S embassy car shooting was a targeted assassination made on behalf of the Beltran Levya Cartel operating in the area. Officers in the Mexican police are often offered bribes or threatened by the country’s powerful cartel’s to work for them and tip them off about upcoming raids while many of them moonlight as “hitmen” carrying out extrajudicial killings for the cartel’s. According to the typology of officers based on the Knapp Commission testimony, these officers can be classified as the worst form of “meat-eaters” as they are out to make profit illegally through a myriad of methods such as through mutual benefit, extortion, enforcing, offering protection and removing competitors on behalf of criminal enterprises. One can argue that they are mere criminals in a police uniform. The typologies of police corrupt practices based on the work of Barker and Roebuck, can be used to classify this example as “direct criminal activities”, as the officers are committing a crime in clear violation of criminal norms. It can also be considered as “protection of illegal activities” as the officers were protecting the interests of the cartel’s that were involved in drug-dealing. By trying to cover up their actions in-order to avoid being detected they were involved in a corrupt practice known as “the fix”. The overall issue can be analysed from a socio-economic perspective. As the average wage of a police officer in Mexico is $350, many officers supplement their salary with bribes. Many of the states are directly under the cartel’s grip which gives them immense power to influence the local officials either by bribes or through intimidation. Hence “police institutional failure” is prevalent with officers from all ranks engaged in systematic corruption and deviance. Due to these reasons the public have lost faith in the Mexican police which has led to the mobilization of the Mexican army to fight the cartels. The attack on the embassy car can be considered as an extremely deviant form of “meat-eating” as it involved assassinating foreign diplomats on Mexican soil which could jeopardize international relations and the credibility of the Mexican government, causing overall tensions with the U.S. Though the perpetrators tried to cover up the attack, such a high risk operation mounted in broad daylight depicts the extremely corrupt practices adopted by the notorious “meat-eaters” present within police organizations.

References

Punch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.

http://www.cnn.co.uk/2012/08/28/world/americas/mexico-us-shooting/index.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20276097

Pair wounded in embassy car shooting were CIA, officials say. (2012, Aug 30). Kamloops Daily News. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.kwantlen.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1037548492?accountid=35875

Attack on U. S embassy car in mexico likely targeted. (2012, Oct 03). Prince George Citizen. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.kwantlen.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1086352744?accountid=35875

Police Corruption “is a specific form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, or career advancement for a police officer or officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest.”  In order to find recent examples of police deviance I went online and I searched newspaper articles. One that caught my attention involved five former members of the Toronto Drug Squad who were sentenced to only 45 days of house arrest after the lengthy trial and investigation.

This investigation took over 15 years and cost over 12 million dollars before this case came to a conclusion. There is a time line of what occurred prior to case which can be seen. The initial charges included conspiracy, assault, extortion, and theft. They were all found to be guilty of obstruction of justice because they covered up entering the apartment of a heroin dealer without a warrant and three out of five officers were also convicted of perjury.

There were a series of events, which led up to this case. It started initially from 1992-1997, when 16 complaints were launched against one of the officers for “assaultive conduct“. The police public complaint bureau completed investigations for how a few of the officers arrested and detained two individuals. As the years passed there were several other issues, which came up that, had to be investigated. One of those was that the officers had searched the apartment of a heroin dealer without a warrant. In their notes they added that they had obtained a warrant when this was not the case. The dealer stated that over $2000 had been taken from him but the court dismissed this claim. These officers lied to the courts so it could be possible that they did take the money, however, it was never proven. With the evidence that was given the only charges that went through were perjury and obstruction of justice.

Looking at the first typology in evaluating the officers they had nothing to gain from searching the apartment without a warrant. The only thing they got out of it was a much quicker search, which became invalid without having a warrant. There were complaints launched against one of the officers for assaultive conduct. These officers also abused their power by making false notes, which obstructed justice. These officers can be seen as meat eaters, as they abused the power they had.

When looking at the second typology we can see this example as being “the fix.” The courts were lied to in order to make the outcome how the officers wanted. They were not honest, in their police notes they wrote down that they had warrants when really they did not.

Finally since they all went in on this together they all were corrupt and lying to the justice system as a collective. They falsified their notes and abused the power that they had. There are other allegations as well however; those cannot be proved 100% such as taking money from the heroin dealer’s apartment. However, if they lied to the courts about having a warrant before entering they may have lied about many other things as well.

References

CBC NEWS. (2013, January 4). Toronto police officers get house arrest for corruptionRetrieved January 20, 2013, from CBC News:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/01/04/toronto-police-officers-sentencing.html

Mackenzie, P. (2013, January 4). Timeline of the police corruption case: 15 years to a sentence. Retrieved January 20, 2013, from thestar.com:  

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/crime/article/1310869–timeline-of-the-police-corruption-case-15-years-to-a-sentence

Recently, there have been two opposing paradigms used to deal with the substance abuse problem. On the one hand, there is the criminal justice model, which is used to prohibit, criminalize, and control drug use. And on the other hand, the public health model, based on harm reduction, which is used to reduce the negative consequences of drug use for the individual, the community, and the society while allowing that a person may choose to continue to use drugs. Currently, Canada is dominated by the prohibitionist drug laws and law enforcement over perspectives of health and harm reduction.

The history of Canada’s drug laws is closely linked to the to the 1908 Opium Act and the public fear of Chinese immigrants. This group was considered a cheap source of labour for the railroads and mining in British Columbia. During this time period, The Chinese became an “economic threat” to other Canadians. Hostility towards Chinese immigrants reflected in the first Canadian anti-drug legislation (Dias, 2003).

In 1986, the U.S. president Ronald Reagan declared the “war on drugs” that started a new era of drug prohibition in Canada and worldwide. Levine (2002) argues that drug prohibition has been adopted throughout the world for a number of reasons. Firstly, the spread of drug prohibition and anti-drug ideology were politically and financially useful to many politicians, the media, and religious institutions. Secondly, drug prohibition has given governments additional police and military powers. For instance, government officials have used anti-drug squads to conduct surveillance operations and military raids that would not otherwise have been able to justify (Levine, 2002). In addition, within the United States, drug users are considered to be anti-American, foreign, and/or diseased (Grayson, 2003). At the domestic level, drug laws have been used to define the American national identity, often in combination with a racist ideology. Grayson (2003) notes that various American counter-cultures have been the targets of the “war on drugs”.

Specifically, the jazz musicians of the 1940s, the Hippies of the 1960s, and the ravers of the 1990s, have all found themselves victims of the U.S. drug laws. According to Grayson (2003), at the international level, the “war on drugs” demonstrates the U.S. power and leadership. These drug laws have facilitated the process of surveillance and numerous countries are monitored by the United States to ensure that they are complying with the American drug control regime. As a consequence, the “war on drugs” has legitimated American influence in the internal affairs of Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, and Panama.

Levine (2002) suggests that the varieties of drug prohibition can be seen as a continuum. The author calls the most punitive end of the continuum a criminalized drug prohibition and the other end a decriminalized drug prohibition. For instance, U.S. drug policy is an example of criminalized drug prohibition because it uses criminal laws, police, and imprisonment for possession, personal use, and a small-scale distribution of psychoactive substances. In contrast, the cannabis policy of the Netherlands illustrates a decriminalized and regulated form of drug prohibition. The Netherlands has specific laws prohibiting the production and sale of forbidden drugs, however, certain cafes and coffee shops are licensed to sell minute quantities of cannabis for personal use (Levine, 2002).

Since 1980s drug prohibition has faced a series of crises. The research  identifies three turning points, specifically, the growth of opposition to punitive drug policies, the inability of drug prohibition to prevent the cultivation and use of cannabis throughout the world, and the emergence of harm reduction movement.

Harm reduction provides an alternative to the classic prohibition and criminalization options. The meaning of the term harm reduction is still disputed and there is no generally accepted definition of harm reduction.

The history of harm reduction can be divided into several phases. In the pre-1980s era, the UK started the “medicalization” approach in which drug users were prescribed heroin and cocaine. The Rollestone Committee of 1920s recommended that in certain cases addicts can be prescribed narcotics in order to reduce the harm of their drug use (Marlatt, 1996).

In the post 1980s era, harm reduction has emerged primary as a “bottom up” approach based on addict advocacy rather than a “top down” policy (Marlatt, 1996). Harm reduction was founded by grassroots advocacy among drug users themselves. In 1980 the “Junkiebond” was established in Rotterdam as a kind of trade union for Dutch drug consumers. Input from the “Junkiebond” led to the development of the first needle exchange program in Amsterdam in 1984.

As an ideology, harm reduction is a non-judgemental approach that minimizes marginalizing the “powerless” and facilitates the individual’s integration into communities (Einstein, 2007). In addition, harm reduction is an ongoing process that is situated within an advocacy system and people who are engaged in harm reduction must take a political position and change from passive recipients to active partners (Einstein, 2007). Some scholars define the harm reduction as a proto-political civic and civil movement for drug users (Lenton and Single, 1998; Tammi, 2007).

The harm reduction movement considers drug consumers as sovereign citizens and normal, responsible, and active members of community. This position is against the punitive prohibition perspective in which the user is perceived as either morally, criminally or medically deviant person. In addition, the harm reduction movement argues that drug policy should be based on practice and science, not on ideology and dogmatism. Tammi (2007) argues that harm reduction is an emancipating movement to liberate users and eliminate unreasonable suffering caused by punitive prohibition control.

Harm reduction constructs drug use as normal action that inevitably occurs in modern society. Marlatt (1996) suggests that harm reduction accepts the fact that many people use drugs and engage in high risk-behaviours and the visions of a drug free society are unlikely to become reality. The harm reduction approach recognizes that abstinence as an ideal outcome but adopts alternative procedures that reduce the harmful consequences of addictive behaviour. Lenton and Single (1998) note that while harm reduction measures do not necessarily reduce drug use, some harm reduction measures involve using drugs in safer ways or lower dosage. The harm reduction perspective informs some types of services including, education, overdose prevention, training, referrals to treatment and social services, needle exchange programs, substitute medications, and safe injection rooms.

Over the last 20 years in Canada, harm reduction rhetoric has played a prominent role  in substance policy and programming. Vancouver’s four pillar drug strategy is an example of the attempt to balance the goals of harm reduction, law enforcement, treatment, and prevention (Heathaway and Tousaw, 2008).

Within the city of Vancouver, injection drug use activity is highly concentrated in the Downtown East Side (DTES) neighbourhood. The DTES faces a wide range of challenges, including the increasing rate of the homeless population, deteriorating single-room occupancy hotels, and an active sex trade. It has been estimated that approximately 17% of the injection drug users are HIV positive and more than 80% are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. The majority of drug users in the DTES inject heroin (51%) and 32% cocaine ( Campbell, Boyd, and Culbert, 2009).

In 2003, Health Canada granted an exemption under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act to establish a supervised injection site in downtown Vancouver. In August 2007, Insite announced provincial funding for expansion of their services to include 12 medically supervised detoxification beds and 18 temporarily housing units. On September 29, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously to uphold Insite’s exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act, allowing the facility to stay open indefinitely (Heathaway and Tousaw, 2008).

Scientific research indicates that medically supervised injection of illicit drugs reduces needle-sharing and deaths from overdose, improves public order and uptake of addiction treatment. Although evidence of the effectiveness of Insite has been overwhelming, the federal government remains politically opposed and questions the constitutional legality and medical advantages of the facility.

So what is the future of a harm reduction policy in Canada given that a conservative federal government strongly supports law enforcement, prohibition, and “tough on crime” provisions?  These reforms suggest that treatment strategies developed under an umbrella of harm reduction approach are unlikely to be promoted by federal government. The “war on drugs” adopted by the conservative government is a political was waged not by scientists and doctors, but by police officers and politicians there is almost universal agreement that prohibition policies based on criminalization of consumption have not worked. Therefore, it is time to replace an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient drug policies.

On-line recourses:

Organizations with web links to news articles, publications, and other resources on harm reduction include:

Canadian Harm Reduction Network

http://canadianharmreduction.com/

International Harm Reduction Association

http://www.ihra.net/

Insite, Supervised Injection Site

http://supervisedinjection.vch.ca/

References:

Campbell, L., Boyd, N. and Culbert, L. (2009). A thousand dreams: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the fight for its future. Vancouver: Greystone.

Dias, G. (2003). “Canada’s Drug Laws: Prohibition is not the Answer”. In Perspectives on Canadian Drug Policy, Vol. 1, The John Howard Society of Canada, pp. 9-24.

Einstein, S. (2007). “Harm and risk reduction: history, theories, issues, and implications”. Substance Use and Misuse, pp. 267-265.

Fischer B, Bibby M, Argento E, et al. (2012).  “Drug Law and Policy in Canada: Torn between criminal justice and public health”, in Ismali K, Sprott J, Varma K, (eds.), Canadian Criminal Justice Policy: Contemporary Perspectives

Grayson, K. (2003). “Discourse, Identity, and the U.S. ‘War on Drugs’”. In Beare, M. Critical Reflectiond on Transnational Organized Crime, Money Laundering, and Corruption. Ed. University of Toronto Press. pp. 145- 169.

Hathaway, A., Tousaw, K. (2008). “Harm Reduction headway and continuing resistance: Insights form safe injection in the city of Vancouver”. International Journal of Drug Policy, 19, pp. 11-16.

Levine, H. (2002). “The Secret of Worldwide Drug Prohibition. The Varieties and Uses of Drug Prohibition”. The Independent Review, Vol. 8, pp. 165-180.

Levine, H. (2002). “Global drug prohibition: its uses and crises”. International Journal of Drug Policy, Vol. 14, pp. 145-153.

Marlatt, A. (1996). “Harm reduction: come as you are”. Addictive Behaviours, Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 779-788.

Tammi, T.(2004). “Harm reduction school of thought: three fractions”. Contemporary Drug Problems, 31 (3), pp. 381-399.

The War on Drugs and police corruption on their own are both controversial and important topics; but are they related? Is the War on Drugs tempting our police officers to be more corrupt?  Many would argue that it does in fact do that and in turn the War on Drugs does not fight or deter crime, it promotes it.

In 2002, 41 Tijuana officers were arrested for allegedly working with drug traffickers, protecting shipments of drugs, taking bribes and even for executions (Preston Preet, 2002).  Generally police officers are under paid for the services that they provide and it can be easy for them to fall victim to the criminal life because of the large sums of easy money it provides.  As Maurice Punch (2009) describes in his book “Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing” cops are just like any other normal person and can just as easily be lured into the temptation of easy money as a criminal could.

For many officers that are dealing with the War on Drugs it could become very frustrating seeing so many drug-dealers get arrested and go to prison to have the same amount come back out on the street the next day.  While the officers are trying to fight the War on Drugs they could feel that they, no matter what their efforts, are consistently being beaten.  This could eventually lead an officer to live a vigilante like life.  The officer might fabricate evidence or lie under oath just to try to put as many suspected drug-dealers away as her could – while his intentions are for the greater good, it is still a form of police corruption.

The debate on whether or not drugs should be decriminalized in North America has been an extremely controversial subject since the start of the War on Drugs. Many North Americans believe that the War on Drugs has failed and even most politicians, despite what most of them might say in public, would agree.  Recently the Global Commission released a report stating “Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won” (CBC New, 2011).  The Global Commission proposes that the United States decriminalizes drugs, especially marijuana, as it will weaken organized crime and corruption within the government and police force (CBC News, 2011).  Follow the link to watch the full report from CBC

The reason much of society claims that the War on Drugs is not working is because drug use is increasing as well as corruption (CBC News, 2011).  In comparison to countries such as the Netherlands, where drugs are decriminalized the United States has a higher percentage in drug use (Chambliss, 1995).  With more corruption and higher drug use in the United States than in countries where they do not fight drugs it is hard to believe that the War on Drugs is in fact effective.

Corruption is a big part of why the War on Drugs needs to be reconsidered.  It is difficult for police officers to not fall to temptation of the drug trade because of the exposed opportunities (Sullivan, 2008).  Cops are just like any other people and are subject to temptation by large sums of money (Punch, 2009).  The reason that this becomes difficult for them is because criminals and cops begin to share the same environment and same surroundings; the police may even become friends with criminals (Punch, 2009).  It is not uncommon for an undercover officer to go to the other side because of the environment they become accustomed too (Punch, 2009).  Drug unit officers are most likely the ones to fall victim to temptation because of the large seizures of drugs and money they are consistently around (Sullivan, 2008).  Corruption within the drug unit usually consists of stealing drugs and selling them for profit, stealing money, as well as illegal searches and seizures (Sullivan, 2008).  Drug enforcement officers are typically the most vulnerable to bribes because of the large amounts of money involved (Sullivan, 2008).  By way of illustration in 1995 in the state of Washington there were 77 officers with charges against them for drug offences (Sullivan, 2008).  That is a substantial amount of a police force to have charges laid against; however, these are the ones that were caught, never mind the amount that managed to stay under the radar.  Ultimately, the War on Drugs makes it inevitable that some officers to accept bribes (Sullivan, 2008).

When police were protecting drug dealers there would be less murder and assaults and this led the community to believe that the police were doing a good job at protecting the streets from crime and that there was no drug market in their neighbourhood (Sullivan, 2008).  The ironic thing about this assumption is that they were preventing more violent crime by protecting the dealers.  The ultimately gave them a license to deal (Sullivan, 2008).

The War on Drugs leads to many different types of police deviance.  One of the most serious ones is the use of SWAT in house raids.  This is considered an extremely serious one because of the innocent people that end up frightened and sometimes killed because of them.  The SWAT will go into a house based on a “tip” they received from a neighbour suspecting drugs in the house (Balko, 2006).  The police deviance that results from these cases is the in proper procedure that is followed.  For example, in the raid on a young man’s home in Florida the warrant was a “knock and announce” which states that the police must knock and announce that it is the police before knocking down the door.  In this particular raid there is evidence that suggests that the police did not follow this procedure and it ended in the young man taking ten bullets (Balko, 2006).  This is only one of many examples of police misconduct in relation to raids.

One of the typologies commonly used to describe officers that go looking for opportunity in regards to corruption are called meat-eaters (Punch, 2009).  One of the first places that a meat-eater may go to look for an opportunity is the drug unit.  With the amount of opportunity the War on Drugs gives to the meat-eaters it would hard for them not to go there first when seeking out a potential gain.  There are many different ways that they could gain from it.  They could cooperate with the drug dealers in exchange for money, they could steal drugs and sell them for profit, they could steal money from seizures and that is just to name a few.

Sullivan (2008) notes that the current drug policies lead to corruption of our police departments and government officials and the CIA cooperated with the Medallion drug cartel in 1993 that was responsible for shipping one ton of cocaine into the United States; the most disturbing part is that the whole thing was swept underneath the rug and no CIA officials were charged.  There are many reported incidents of the CIA cooperating in the drug trade.  There is overwhelming evidence that suggests cooperation during the Vietnam War allowed the shipment and trade of opiate drugs.

The amount of money paid to fund the War on Drugs is outrageous and the time and effort spent by our law enforcement could be spent towards preventing and enforcing other laws.  For example, in 1992 68% of arrests in the United States were for drug offences and 36% of all prisoners for drug offences were for low level offences and had no previous record (Sullivan, 2008).  It seems as though many people of the public are against drugs and support the War on Drugs, hence why no president has put decriminalization into action; however 50% of incarcerations are for crimes that the public deems “not very serious” (Sullivan, 2008).  It is easier for politicians to convince the public that fighting drugs will keep their community safer than giving up on the fight and trying a different alternative.  Many see giving up on the War on Drugs as supporting crime even though this is not the case.

Statistics have shown that places like ‘Insight’ or regulated ‘needle parks’ reduce the spread of AIDS and Hepatitis among addicts (Sullivan, 2008).  If these parks are helping prevent disease and most of our incarcerations are for low level drug offences is it safe to say that the War on Drugs is not helping? With all the corruption from the cops and all the organized crime going on one could say that it is only making situations worse and that countries are losing thousands of people in this endless fight.

Whether or not to decriminalize drugs will always be a controversial issue.  Even though many statistics show that it would be in our society’s best interest to make the change people are afraid of just that.  Tens of thousands of people die every year because of drugs, whether it is overdoses because the drug injections are not regulated the drug dealers and gang members fighting over their turf or the police officers that are just trying to enforce the law.  What we do know is that too many people die because of drugs and something needs to change.  Millions of dollars goes toward funding the War on Drugs that could be used for other things such as health care for Americans or the prevention of serious crimes such as murder, rape and robbery.  Corruption is a huge indictor as well that this is not the outcome that we hope for.  Corruption and drugs go hand in hand as does organized crime and drugs.  If we were to decriminalize drugs we would ultimately be solving the problem of corruption and organized crime.  The old saying goes “if it aite broke don’t fix it”.  Well what if it is broken? Should we not do what we can to try and fix the problem? If we have been fighting drugs for decades and it has not improved then we should try something new or the outcome will be the same – “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.

There are many people and organizations that benefit from the War on Drugs and it’s a wonder that they are not the reason why it is continuing.  First and probably the most obvious are drug dealers.  They buy product in bulk for very little money and flip it for an enormous profit, while the consequences if busted can be intense, many do not mind taking the risk for the extreme amounts of cash that are involved.  Second would be law enforcement.  Corrupt cops benefit from the War on Drugs by becoming a part of the criminal acts the take place.  As mentioned above, police involved in the drug trade can become corrupt due to the opportunities for large sums of money.  Third would be politicians.  Politicians benefit in a different way.  They use the War on Drugs as a way to increase their campaign.  The community is more likely to elect someone that wants to fight drugs and crime and make them feel safe in their community.  Society doesn’t generally elect someone that “condones” crime and/or drugs (which is the way it may seem if they did not support the fight against drugs).  Lastly, would be private prisons.  Private prisons receive funding per inmate.  So if the incarceration rate goes up – so does their funding.  It is easy to see why any of the above would and do benefit from the war, but what about the rest of society that does not.

The fact of the matter is, when you look at the facts and at the history of the War on Drugs, it is potentially causing society more harm than good.  Not only is it striping our community of money to fund the endless fight but it is killing millions of people, some completely innocent of crimes, in the process.

The money that is spent annually towards funding the War on Drugs could be used towards other things such as health care.  Can anyone really agree that the War on Drugs is more important than the health of our community?  I think it is safe to assume that most would agree that the health of the child is more important than whether the teenager down the block gets busted for smoking a joint? Yes this may be a harsh example, but it is the bare naked truth.  President Nixon said the Drugs were America’s number one enemy?

In all due respect President Nixon but I would have to disagree and say that cancer and other deadly illnesses may be more of a threat to American’s than a choice to use or sell drugs.  If half the money was spent on cancer research as it has been to fight the War on Drugs thousands of lives may have been saved – someone may not have lost their child to leukemia at the age of 5, someone may not have lost their mother or father, brother or sister… instead people have lost their families in a War that may never end.

What can we do?

What are the alternatives to the War on Drugs?  Are there any? Have they been successful?  As a matter of fact there are alternatives and other countries have paved the way by demonstrating how successful these alternatives can be.  The Netherlands, for example, has been a leader in the search for alternatives.  Switzerland has experimented with alternatives to police enforced prohibition and there have been established “needle parks” where addicts can safely and legally purchase drugs.  In Vancouver there is a safe injection site known as “Insite” which is North America’s first legal supervised injection site

The sad truth about drugs is that people will do what they want and making it legally available is not going to make that decision for them… only they can do that, the least we can do is make sure they do it safely.

Punch (2009) always talks about the bad apple or bad orchard theory… If it is in fact a bad orchard what we as a society can do to prevent that orchard from growing and infecting more of the community is by stopping the source of their corruption – the War on Drugs.  No War on Drugs = no drug dealers and no drug-related corruption… it’s really that simple – if an orchard is producing bad apples it is up to us to stop watering the trees.

References Cited

Balko, Radley. (2006). Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Washington, D.C.. Retrieved on November 3, 2011 from http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/balko_whitepaper_2006.pdf

CBC News. (2011). News Cast. Retrieved from web on October 25th 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D1GPTCWta8

CBC News. (2011). War on Drugs on Bust: Commission. Retrieved from web on October 25th 2011 from http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/06/02/drug-war-report.html

Chambliss, William J. (1995). Another lost war: The costs and consequences of drug prohibition. Proquest. Social Justice. San Francisco. Vol. 22, Iss. 2. Pg. 101.

Lee Sullivan. Sheriff. (2008). Drug Unit Corruption: Stopping the Scandal Before it Starts. Proquest. Alexandria. Vol. 60, Iss. 1; pg. 27, 3 pgs.

Punch, Maurice. (2009). Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Portland, Oregon: Willan Publishing.

The war on drugs can be defined as the use of the criminal justice system to prohibit possession, use, production, sale, import, and export of certain drugs. The term “war on drugs” was first used by president Richard Nixon in 1971. Drug abuse, said the president, was public enemy number one. Nixon’s use of the word “war” was no accident. From the outset, Washington’s approach to the problems of drug use and addiction has been overtly militaristic in nature. The US government has given local SWAT units access to highly sophisticated equipment, encouraging its use in an ever-more aggressive war on drugs. Beginning with the Military Cooperation and Law Enforcement Act of 1981, the Pentagon gave local and state police access to surplus military equipment for purposes of drug interdiction. By 1997, local police departments around the US had purchased 1.2 million pieces of gear, including thousands of military-style M-16 automatic rifles, body armour, helmets, grenade launchers, night vision goggles, even armoured personnel carriers and helicopters. There are more than 50,000 police paramilitary raids in the United States each year – more than 130 every day. Virtually all are for prosecution of drug warrants, the vast majority involving marijuana. Many jurisdictions use SWAT teams for execution of every search warrant for drugs.

In Canada, the war on drugs has given rise to a number of anti-drug campaigns such as “Drugsnot4me”. The Government of Canada has committed approximately $102 million in new funding over five years to implement the Enforcement Action Plan. This Plan provides funding to the RCMP so they can expand their anti-drug teams to investigate organizations involved in the production and distribution of illegal substances.

However, current drug policies also lead to the corruption of governmental officials and police departments. In 1998, the United Nations Drug Control Program predicted the inventible risk of drug-related police corruption. The report suggested that “wherever there is a well-organized, illegal drug industry, there is also the danger of police corruption”. According to Maurice Punch (2009), police corruption relates to abuse of power and trust. Corruption can occur in a small groups or even throughout the entire organization. Punch (2009) emphasizes that in some forms of police corruption there is no financial gain.

Research demonstrates that the war on drugs has institutionalized racism in law enforcement, created the wholesale corruption of government officials and police departments, increased violence, and criminalized the poor (Chambliss, 1995; Oscapella 2001; Skolnick, 1992). Several investigations of drug-related police corruption found on-duty police officers engaged in selling drugs, protecting drug operations and providing false testimonies. Although material gain was found to be a motive common to drug-related police corruption, New York City’s Mollen Commission identified power and vigilante justice as two additional motives for drug-related police corruption.

In the article “Another lost war: The cost and consequences of drug prohibition”, William Chambliss argues that current drug policies have not worked because the incidence of drug use and the availability of drugs have not changed significantly since the war on drugs was instituted. Current drug policies make it inevitable that individual police will be tempted to accept bribes. Equally important, however, is the organizational pressure on police units to cooperate with drug dealers. Maurice Punch (2009:1) writes: “It is sociologically unsound to speak of ‘individuals’ in organizations, for there are none”. It is important to consider that the nature of police work, organization, and culture can conspire to encourage the diverse forms of police deviance.

Eugenne Oscapella claims that mass demand for prohibited drugs creates a black market that feeds organized crime, increases violence, corrupts enforcement and wastes police recourses. Oscapella (2001) argues that the War on Drugs is a political war, waged not by scientists and doctors, but by police officers and politicians. William Chambliss (1995) suggests that crime and drugs have been used as the weapon by conservative governments to gain political advantage. Chambliss (1995:9) notes that, “crime and drugs were joined on the political agenda, thus making it nearly impossible to argue for decriminalizing drugs without appearing to support crime”. Therefore, the war on drugs has been one of the biggest winners in political history for politicians.

A number of studies demonstrates that the war on drugs increases incarceration rates and creates economies that are drug dependent (Oscapella 2001; Skolnick 1992). Chambliss (1995) notes that the war on drugs in America is a war between the police and minority youth from the “ghetto underclass”. African American, Latino and Aboriginal people are particularly hard hit by the systematic racism inherent in the enforcement of drug laws. Drug arrests and incarcerations are the major contributor to the unprecedented number of people in prison. For instance, in 1992, 58% of the US inmates in federal prisons and over 30% of state prisoners were sentenced for drug offences (Chambliss, 1995). Approximately one-third of these were sentenced for marijuana, with another two-thirds for heroin and cocaine.

There is almost universal agreement that the war on drugs has failed.The article ” The War on Drugs is a failure” notes that this is an ineffective strategy that has to be replaced with more humane and efficient drug policies. Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy argues that the war against drugs violates human rights, damages environments and fills prisons with drug users. War on drugs takes away police time from pursuing “real” criminals and requires the police officers to treat addicts as criminals.

William Chambliss (1995) states that prohibitionist policies based criminalization of consumption have not worked. The author suggests to it is time to replace an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient drug policies. According to Chambliss (1995), the Netherlands has been a leader in the search for alternatives for policing as a solution to social problems associated with the use of drugs. The Netherlands decriminalized possession, use, and sale of marijuana and other drugs. The main rule that governs police enforcement of anti-drugs laws is that the police are a bridge between drug addicts and treatment services (Chambliss, 1995:2). Research conducted by the Public Health and National Police in the Netherlands found that decriminalization of the use, sale, and possession of some amounts of drugs has not led to any increase in usage and has decreased the amount of crime.

Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site. It is located on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada. This is a safe, health-focused place where people inject drugs and connect to health care services. Research shows that fatal overdoses within 500 metres of Insite decreased by 35% after the facility opened compared to a decrease of 9% in the rest of Vancouver; Insite, clients develop trusting relationships with health care and social workers, making them more likely to pursue withdrawal management, addiction counselling and other addiction treatment services.

These data from experiments with the decriminalization of drugs and safe injection sites suggest that alternative policies less dependent upon prohibitionist methods are likely to prove more effective.

 

References:

 

Chambliss, W.J “Another lost war: The cost and consequences of drug prohibition” , 1995, Social Justice, Vol. 22, p 1-15

Oscapella E. “Witch Hunts and Chemical McCarthyism. The Criminal Law and Twentieth-Century Canadian Drug Policy”, 2001, Fraser Institute Digital Publication, p.1 -26

Punch, M. Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing, 2009. Devon: Willan Publishing.

Skolnick J.K. “Rethinking the Drug Problem”, 1992, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The War on Drugs can be defined as the use of the criminal justice system to prohibit possession, use, production, sale, import, and export of certain drugs. Research demonstrates that the War on Drugs has institutionalized racism in law enforcement, created the wholesale corruption of government officials and police departments, increased violence, and criminalized the poor (Chambliss, 1995; Oscapella 2001; Skolnick, 1992).

In the article “Another lost war: The cost and consequences of drug prohibition”, William Chambliss argues that current drug policies have not worked because the incidence of drug use and the availability of drugs have not changed significantly since the War on Drugs was instituted. The author states that drug enforcement police are particularly vulnerable to bribes and corruption. Current drug policies make it inevitable that individual police will be tempted to accept bribes. Equally important, however, is the organizational pressure on police units to cooperate with drug dealers. Maurice Punch (2009:1) writes: “It is sociologically unsound to speak of ‘individuals’ in organizations, for there are none”. It is important to consider that the nature of police work, organization, and culture can conspire to encourage the diverse forms of police deviance.

William Chambliss (1995) found that when the police were taking bribes and protecting drug dealers, murders associated with drug dealers were low and the community was unaware that there was a drug market in the city. The police were viewed as doing a good job of “protecting” the community. However, when the police enforced anti-drug laws, crimes of violence increased. Chambliss (1995) argues that when the police cooperate with drug dealers, they give them a “licence” to trade in certain areas of the city. The “licensed” dealers do not engage in violence to protect their territory, because they need only call their partners on the police force and have their competitors arrested.

A search of newspaper articles revealed the following list of cases in recent years:

Toronto: six officers from the Central Field Command Team were charged with twenty two counts of drug related offences.

Chicago: seven officers of the Tactical Unit of the 15th District were indicted in 1996 for robbing and extorting money and narcotics from drug sellers.

Los Angeles: 27 Sheriff’s deputies and 1 police officer convicted in 1994 of skimming millions of dollars of drug money, while members of an elite narcotics unit.

New York City: police and New York State police departments were convicted of falsifying drug evidence.

Denver: two police officers charged with destroying evidence in 80 drug cases

Eugene Oscapella claims that mass demand for prohibited drugs creates a black market that feeds organized crime, increases violence, corrupts enforcement and wastes police recourses. Oscapella (2001) argues that the War on Drugs is a political war, waged not by scientists and doctors, but by police officers and politicians. William Chambliss (1995) suggests that crime and drugs have been used as the weapon by conservative governments to gain political advantage. Chambliss (1995:9) notes that, “crime and drugs were joined on the political agenda, thus making it nearly impossible to argue for decriminalizing drugs without appearing to support crime”.  Therefore, the war on drugs has been one of the biggest winners in political history for politicians.

A number of studies demonstrates that the War on Drugs increases incarceration rates and creates economies that are drug dependent (Oscapella 2001; Skolnick 1992). Chambliss (1995) notes that the War on Drugs in America is a war between the police and minority youth from the “ghetto underclass”. African American, Latino and Aboriginal people are particularly hard hit by the systematic racism inherent in the enforcement of drug laws. Drug arrests and incarcerations are the major contributor to the unprecedented number of people in prison. For instance, in 1992, 58% of the US inmates in federal prisons and over 30% of state prisoners were sentenced for drug offences (Chambliss, 1995). Approximately one-third of these were sentenced for marijuana, with another two-thirds for heroin and cocaine.

William Chambliss (1995) states that prohibitionist policies based criminalization of consumption have not worked. The author suggests to it is time to replace an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient drug policies. According to Chambliss (1995), the Netherlands has been a leader in the search for alternatives for policing as a solution to social problems associated with the use of drugs. The Netherlands decriminalized possession, use, and sale of marijuana and other drugs. The main rule that governs police enforcement of anti-drugs laws is that the police are a bridge between drug addicts and treatment services (Chambliss, 1995:2). Research conducted by the Public Health and National Police in the Netherlands found that decriminalization of the use, sale, and possession of some amounts of drugs has not led to any increase in usage and has decreased the amount of crime. Switzerland has experimented with alternatives to police-enforced prohibition. Zurich and Geneva established the “needle parks” where addicts can openly purchase drugs. The government provides sterile needles and medical help. Peter Grab (1994) claims that a positive result of these experiments is a significant decline in the spread of AIDS and hepatitis among addicts. Insite is North America’s first legal supervised injection site. It is located on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada. This is a safe, health-focused place where people inject drugs and connect to health care services. Research shows that fatal overdoses within 500 metres of Insite decreased by 35% after the facility opened compared to a decrease of 9% in the rest of Vancouver; Insite, clients develop trusting relationships with health care and social workers, making them more likely to pursue withdrawal management, addiction counselling and other addiction treatment services.

These data from experiments with the decriminalization of drugs and safe injection sites suggest that alternative policies less dependent upon prohibitionist methods are likely to prove more effective.

References:

Chambliss, W.J “Another lost war: The cost and consequences of drug prohibition” , 1995, Social Justice, Vol. 22, p 1-15

Oscapella E. “Witch Hunts and Chemical McCarthyism. The Criminal Law and Twentieth-Century Canadian Drug Policy”, 2001, Fraser Institute Digital Publication, p.1 -26

Punch, M. Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing, 2009. Devon: Willan Publishing.

Skolnick J.K. “Rethinking the Drug Problem”, 1992, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences