Tuesday, April 26, 2005

People make me so mad...

Meteor shower sparks flurry of calls to police
BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- A meteor shower Sunday night sparked a flurry of frantic phone calls to police departments across New England from people who saw bright lights moving in the sky, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Someone is making the American public really really stupid and really really afraid, and that person needs to put behind bars. If we can finance a war on drugs to fill up prisons more than any other crime, we can put fear and stupid mongers behind bars too.


Jenn Onofrio said...

No thank you. We don't need more people behind bars.

How about a big love fest, though? Maybe a throw-back to the 60's would suit us well.

Theo said...

Yesterday on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN they listed the top 5 fears in America. The #2 and #3 fears were both drugs, with #2 being Crystal Meth. Then Paula Zahn did a whole show on Crystal Meth.

If it wasn't for the drug war, drug manufacturers wouldn't have to make things as awful as Crystal Meth. The higher you make the penalties for drugs, the more manufacturers are going to do to offset those penalties.

Now, during AC360 they showed a woman (whose mother was a meth dealer) who went to jail for doing meth and has been out of jail and through a treatment program. She's been treated and looks good now. She has two children and is easing into family life. She has a job and has been off meth since her treatment ended. It looks like a good story.

Now, after the show some idiot wrote in and said that the problem with all this drug stuff is that people who do drugs are let off the hook. He said that they face no consequences and are treated too lightly.

PRISONS are OVERLOADED with drug users (even 19-year-olds who happened to be caught with a small stash of pot, which while they insist is a "gateway drug," otherwise has not caused any deaths and compared to legal cigarettes is pretty healthy). Each year more criminals convicted of drug crimes go to prison than any other crime. The ONLY reason why we have to keep building new super major huge prisons is because of the way we handle drug crimes in this country. It is because of our drug laws that we have the LARGEST PRISON SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.

And yet there are people who say we don't do ENOUGH?!

I'd be much happier if we sent these people through treatment programs rather than prisons. Ask a doctor -- is it better to punish an addict or treat him?

That woman on AC360 is now a productive member of society who is working hard to keep her two children from getting involved with drugs. She has a family, earns a salary, and is inspirational to other meth users who want to cut the habit. However, there are still people who are upset she isn't still in prison...


Jenn Onofrio said...

Agreed, agreed, agreed, agreed... agreed, agreed, agreed.

Yeah. I know. I deal with this quite frequently. You're absolutely right on with your statistics, but there's an interesting new twist that I've been throwing around in my head as of late.

An independent study of "what high school kids in the US are doing" (that's been done annually for quite some time now) released the 2005 results of their survey, and it's actually quite frightening. The percentages of use for ALL illicit drugs (ecstasy, marijuana, crack, coke, LSD, et al) decreased from last year by 1 to 5% each. What's gone up, though? The use of pharmaceutical drugs.

According to this study, pharm drugs are the most widely abused drugs by high schoolers today. Vicodin and Ritalin are #1 and 2, respectively. These statements ring true in other studies I've read recently, as well. And it makes sense: if Mom and Dad are doing it, why can’t I? AND, the all-I-have-to-do-is-go-into-the-medicine-cabinet defense.

What we're also finding in the prison system are convictions based around pharm drugs, like people getting busted for using illegitimate scripts, or being arrested for selling the drugs. What's interesting, though, is that you can't be busted for possession on this one; mostly, just fraud.

I am all for treatment clinics, don't get me wrong, but they also occasionally present a problem (which feeds into what I just wrote up there, before): treatment centers often treat drugs with drugs. Heroine is treated with meth, and Xanax is pushed in a surprising number of other cases... push comes to shove though, when dealing with addictive personalities, is it really wise to allow for the potential enablement of just another addiction?

So you get people off the illicit drugs, and on to the legal ones, and then what? Is the problem really solved? Because most people in these demographics don't have constant access and/or insurance to enable them to obtain these drugs, which puts them back in the same situation.

So... hmmmm. Interesting, right? Get Them Off the Illicits, and On To the Pharms. Granted, these are broad, sweeping suggestions I'm making but, like I said, I think it's rather interesting... I'm extremely curious about the implications and correlations between the two (not just the illicit drugs to incarceration, but pharm drugs, instead).

Whew. That was a mouthful.