Excerpt of letter sent to Commissioner Frank Noonan and AG Kathy Kane:
Paradigm Shift = The process whereby firmly held beliefs are pressed against and ultimately broken; a novel idea and construct emerges.
In the 11/24/13 Times Leader, our Attorney General says, “Kane said proactive approaches are key in dealing with the heroin problem, which she called a “war.”
I agree that proactive approaches are “key,” however Ms. Kane I am nettled by the use of the word “war.” If you mean the traditional war of taking out the dealers/suppliers… then I would ask that you look at the efficacy of the “war on drugs” the past 45 years. The war has been lost. It hasn’t even been close.
I believe in the “war” aspect… but it must be a war on the users (the demand for drugs). You can’t argue with the “math.” If there are no users (demand) there will be no supply. ALL drug related crime goes away. Please see http://wbtruth.blogspot.com/2013/11/more-of-times-leader-article.html for details.
Let us look at some phenomenal successes we currently enjoy in Wilkes-Barre.
~ We feed our hungry at soup kitchens which must have the effect, to a certain degree, of minimizing the need for these people to steal food.
~ Community Counseling medicates throngs of citizens with mental illness so that they are not left to fend for themselves with an illness that may overwhelm them. The benefits that this center has provided are immense.
~ Is it such a stretch that we would help and taper off (hopefully) those on drugs?
TO TREAT THE DISEASE AND NOT THE CRIME? There is a terrible misconception that those who take hard drugs enjoy them. This is a theory that must be crushed. There is nary a penalty worse for an addict than the pain of the addiction itself. Ask anyone in NA or AA. Nobody has fun. Most describe it as hell and all want to recover if they only get the right help (along with their own sincere attempts).
If the users (the demand side) can be helped in professionally run clinics, society would benefit manifold. In fact, we are already doing this in small degrees. Suboxone is used to treat heroin addiction and Librium is used to treat alcoholism (in rehab). The problem is that a huge black market exists which defeats the goal of reducing crime.
I assume there are safe ways to treat, taper, and ultimately treat any type of addiction. This must be provided the same way we now provide food/medicine to those in need. I am not a pharmacist nor a pharmacist… but when there’s a will there is a way.
Two legs of the chair are in place. To stand we need a third.
THE END OF DRUG SUPPLIERS (Think about this!)
~ There would be no suppliers if addicts can take get treatment/stabilization for free at a clinic. (Some have brought up the specter of first time users gaming the system. These people can easily be weeded out through drug screening. Plus, I have never heard of a first time user at a methadone clinic).
~ There would be no more turf wars. There would be no need to steal drugs from each another. The rate of gun violence would fall off a cliff.
~ Neighborhoods would be safe. Police would not risk their lives in drug raids.
~ No more store hold-ups if addict can safely get drug
~ Shoplifting would drop as addicts could afford the drug.
~ Women would no longer need to prostitute themselves to get their drugs.
~ Our jails would empty. Think of the savings!
If an addict roams the street and is under the influence – would you rather that he got drugs from a dealer with money he stole to get… or from a professional clinic that knows this person’s needs, is treating this person, and is treating this person as “sick” and not “bad.” WHICH IS BETTER FOR SOCIETY?
What a perfect setting for treatment! You have sober/clean individuals who have nothing but time on their hands. They can’t go anywhere. Yet we don’t treat them. Instead we cage them. Nuts!
Think of the monumental savings in emptying our jails. It is rather disturbing that we have created a business of “caging humans” that keeps growing. Does anyone think that people have become “bad” over the years. Or do you think it might have to do with the disease of drug proliferation?
Much of the money spent in illegal drugs would be transferred to the medical clinics. Doctors, physician assistants, nurses, counselors, and pharmaceutical companies would benefit. Before, all this money was going to the dealers. THINK ABOUT THIS.
No idea is perfect. But I guarantee that this plan exceptionally surpasses what we now do. It isn’t even a contest.