By Alfa · Feb 7, 2005 · ·
  1. Alfa

    U.S. Needs New Approach to Scourge, She Tells Civic Club

    KETTERING - Retired Florida Judge Eleanor Schockett was speaking to
    such a square crowd that they didn't even get the little joke in her
    introduction about the fact she doesn't do drugs.

    That didn't mean the 50 Kettering Rotarians weren't receptive to her
    message at their meeting Wednesday. They listened to Schockett's
    argument that everything from marijuana to narcotics should be made
    legal, and regulated by the government. From the very start, they
    agreed that the war on drugs has failed to reduce demand, and that a
    new approach is needed.

    "The United States has the largest prison population per capita of any
    country in the world," she said. In Ohio, the Department of
    Corrections 2004 annual report showed that nearly 23,900 felons went
    to prison that year, with almost 5 percent from Montgomery County.

    About 25 percent were convicted of violent crimes, but about 31
    percent were drug offenses. The single most common conviction for all
    prisoners was drug possession, at about 18 percent. Selling drugs was
    second on the list, at 11 percent.

    When you look at the total prisoner population, the numbers aren't
    quite as dramatic, because drug sentences are shorter than those for
    violent crimes. About 60 percent of all prisoners are in for violent
    crimes such as severely beating someone, robbery and attempted rape.
    Only 13 percent of all prisoners are in for drug offenses.

    Each man costs $24,000 a year.

    "It is a totally nonproductive expenditure," Schockett

    She asked her audience -- which included leaders of Kettering's city
    government and schools -- to call their state representatives and
    congressmen and ask the country to move toward drug

    "It's people like you that can really make a difference, because y'all
    have credibility," she said.

    Men in the audience asked questions about who's doing it right --
    Switzerland and Holland, said the former judge of the circuit court in
    Miami-Dade County, Fla. and how much a medicalized distribution system
    would cost. She said it would be far less than the current one.

    Chuck Sutherland of Kettering said after the talk, "We do have a
    serious problem with drugs in this country, and we do need a new
    approach to it." He said he doesn't think the United States is ready
    for the Dutch approach, where marijuana is legal just like beer, and
    heroin users can shoot up in government-run clinics. Although he
    largely agreed with her position, he said he doubted he would write
    his representatives urging legalization.

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  1. noeticbuzz
    The countries with the best drug policies are the ones that treat it as a social problem rather then a criminal one.
  2. Qish
    i wish fox or matt stone/trey parker, or some famous director or
    someone with lots of hollywood enfluence would do some serious debate
    about this to the populous.

    it seems like the only way drugs are represented on tv is goofy (harold
    and kumar, cheech and chong) or strung out musician vh1 behind the
    music what a "sad sad sad thing" (kurt cobain, layne stanley, jimi
    hendrix, jim morrison, jannis joplin,)

    thats just what i am seeing when i watch tv, and im pertty sure its
    what a lot of people base their opinions on. which is a real problem.

    we need something for weed, like what micheal moore did for the democrats.
  3. Qish
    oh and not just weed, im down for the whole shebang
  4. P!MPJU!C3
    Ull always have people that say the war on drugs is fucked up. But America has forgoten its self. Its no longer the land of the free. The countries the american people fled 2 3 centuries earlier are a lot more free than America is now.
  5. William_Again
    While I don't share a totally pessimistic attitude about america (there
    are so many great things about this country) I agree that there are
    really silly things that just seem to fuck it up for the rest, drugs
    being one of them. I will never understand why the US population fears
    drugs so much, or why the media has reviled it continuiosly. I know why
    they haven't glorified it, but they certainly haven't shown facts, only
    biased views from a conservative side. This country is totally run by
    fear, fear of drugs, terrorism, poverty, crime, disease,etc...and whats
    odd is that the average person will never deal with any of those in
    manner in which everyone tells them they will.
  6. brooklyn718
    I would have to say it is odd for a floridian judge to speak that way
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