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Garland Robinette

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Garland Robinette: Believe it or not, I'm with Jindal on this one

Garland@wwl.com - 2.18.13   Louisiana I love you, but you confuse me sometimes. You don’t want to pay any more taxes.  You want a reduction in crime.  You don’t trust government and law enforcement.  BUT, you’re all for a system that does almost none of the above…It’s called THE WAR ON DRUGS.

Let’s take a look at the “benefits” of this on-going war:

1.    The U.S. has about 5 percent of the world’s population, but houses almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.  http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2237

2.     Overall there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than 6 million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.  (How do I know?   Pat Robertson told me so: TIME magazine’s “Incarceration Nation.”)  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2109777,00.html

3.    The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.  That’s 7 to 10 times more than all other developed countries.  http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2013/01/11/in-the-magazine/trends-and-opinions/prison-system.html

4.    Louisianas holds the title of world’s biggest prison machine.  You read correctly.  The world!   http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/05/louisiana_is_the_worlds_prison.html

5.    Nearly two-thirds of Louisiana prisoners are nonviolent offenders.  The national average is less than half.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/opinion/blow-plantations-prisons-and-profits.html?_r=0

7.     Louisiana has privatized many of its rural prisons to corporations that require a certain amount of inmates in order to show a stock holder profit.  So a reduction in crime would be a reduction in criminals, which would violate the mission statements of for profit prison corporations.   http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/05/17/the-economics-of-for-profit-prisons/  
So, let’s go back to the beginning:

1.    You don’t want to pay more taxes.  Well, yes, you do.  You love the fact that we’re tough on crime.  It costs a WWWWwhole lotta money, but that’s o.k., because we get?????

2.    Reduction in crime.  Oh wait, sorry, we’ve got the promises, but few results.  It’s only been that way about 40 years, but we’re assured salvation’s coming every day.

3.    You don’t trust government?  Well, yes, you do.  Who the hell do you think backs the plan that costs you so much in taxes?

4.  You don’t trust law enforcement?  Ohhh yes you do.  You’ll back a system that has the potential to put your children in the world’s biggest prison system for a chemical addiction.

OK, given all the above…Your favorite conservative Governor must be making you feel schizophrenic.  Here is Bobby Jindal’s latest headline:  “Jindal seeks release for nonviolent drug offenders.”   That’s right.  Bobby Jindal will agree to “let some nonviolent drug offenders out of prison early if they complete an intensive treatment program." http://www.wwl.com/pages/15547262.php?contentType=4&contentId=12407071 

Now, before you go calling him “Pyush-liberal-commie-Jindal,” how about we check to see if this idea has ever been implemented.

Portugal July 2001:  Decriminalized every imaginable drug from marijuana, to cocaine, to heroin. . (Did not make legal…decriminalized.  Distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offense.)

Many thought Lisbon would become a drug-tourist haven.  Others predicted usage rates among youths to surge.  Studies from 2001-2007 suggest they were wrong on both. 


Let’s compare Portugal’s decriminalization to the “benefits” of incarceration:

1.  17% reduction in HIV cases among drug users. Sounds like a reduction in health costs.
2.  Drug use among adolescents declined.
3.  Street value of drugs decreased.  Sounds like a reduction in the kill-for-profit motive.
4.  The number of drug addicts in Portugal was cut in half over the study period.
5.  Police say that they’ve been freed from focusing on low-level users, which gave them the chance to focus on dealers and importers, the kingpins.

6.  In the mid-to-late ‘90s, at the peak of the Portugal drug problem, about 1 percent of Portuguese were a problematic drug user, was hooked on heroin or some other drug.  The studies show a drop of 50%, while the population has gone up about 10 percent.
But unlike conservative-liberal websites, let me direct you to the converse of this argument. NPR:  “Mixed Results For Portugal’s Great Drug Experiment,” January 20, 2011.  http://www.npr.org/2011/01/20/133086356/Mixed-Results-For-Portugals-Great-Drug-Experiment

According to this report the number of drug users in Portugal went down, but as of today have gone back up.  The author gives a detailed report on both sides, but some evidence does suggest that when Portugal’s citizens are interviewed about their lifetime drug history they are more forthcoming because they know they won’t be prosecuted, thus an increase in honesty, not usage.

The fact of the matter is any arguments can be culled from the internet to fit your dogma.  This website tries not to do that.

But let’s go back to lists.  Are these really the “benefits” you want?  Do you really not care to trade violence, incarceration and the attendant costs for addiction treatment?  

Do you really believe law enforcement, when they trot out the media for a look see at the latest cache of weapons, drugs, and derelicts, and tell you this is evidence that the war on drugs is working?

Do you really think non-profit prison corporations and their behind-the-scenes power brokers are going to allow a reduction in crime that would allow a reduction in corporate-shareholder profits?

Now, explain this one to me.  We are a society that said “hell no” to the prohibition of alcohol.  After prohibition was lifted, you would think everyone would get drunk much more.  The CATO Institute, specifically Policy Analysis No. 157, showed drinking declined after booze was made legal.  We know that in large amounts booze often leads to violence and destructive activity.  WE KNOW THIS, but we have no problem with its legality.  We know that lots of people used to kill, wound and beat others during prohibition, but they don’t now (unless they’re drunk).  WE KNOW THIS, but it’s still okay.  

Now, it’s all right to put someone in a very expensive cave for smoking a plant or swallowing a pill.  The plants and pills make one mostly stupid and sleepy.  WE KNOW THAT non-violent drugs do make people kill, wound and beat others because of the profit.  Is this okay, too?

We took the profit out of liquor.  Drinking went down and they stopped the killing.

Now, we want to keep the profit in drugs for fear we will take more drugs while killing each other?

Does this make sense to you?  In particular, that “while killing each other” part?  Really?? Tell me how.

For a change, I’m with the Governor on this one.

Tags :  
Locations : LisbonLouisiana
People : Bobby JindalPat Robertson

02/18/2013 11:28PM
Garland Robinette: Believe it or not, I’m with Jindal on this one
Please Enter Your Comments Below
02/19/2013 9:00AM
About time!
How old are you and how long did it take you to come to this idea. The logic is atomic.Just think of the lives lost and the futures wasted and for why? George Harkins, Brandon MS
02/19/2013 2:28PM
Why are you agreeing with jindal? This has been said long before he ever got into any office. What is the matter with you GR?
02/19/2013 2:37PM
Former ADA.
We have drug courts and diversion programs. However, the DA's don't want to push these programs too hard for fear taht they will be viewed as being soft on crime. If I am not mistaken it costs over $60K a year to hosue a prisoner. Thus, itcosts the taxpayers more to house the prisoner thatn the prisoner makes annually. This is a no-brainer.
02/19/2013 2:38PM
hey please...
You won't agree with Jindal even when the idea is good? I don't agree with him all the time but this solution to this issue is good.
02/19/2013 2:47PM
Former ADA
It really doesn't require Jindal to get involved. If the local jurisdictions would simply utilize the drug courts and diversion programs that would save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Who cares if GR agrees with Jindal or not. These are our tax dollars going to waste. Isn't that the real issue?
02/19/2013 4:10PM
Decriminalize drugs.
Couldn't agree more! It is so obvious and makes sense. I guess that is why the government is against it. The "WAR" on drugs is a huge cash cow.
02/19/2013 4:36PM
Have you read the paper in St Bernard
96 arrested in THE PARISH 46 of them were some type of drug related charge and other things and if I remember right 26 or more were for pot And I think 19 for disturbing the Peace And half with no bond. All which means MONEY to get out, make bond,( those who can) pay fines,laywer and let not forget life long record of conviction. Not just a war on drugs. IT'S A WAR ON YOUR WALLET. IF NOT DRUGS it will be Jwalking, talking out loud, or eatting to loud
02/19/2013 5:17PM
Concerned mother
My son got in trouble with the law for pot when he was a teenager. One of the things my husband and I noticed was all the money being spent on law enforcement, the court system, etc. My point is many people make a good living off of this. Make all drugs legal and put the excess funds into rehab. We will spend much less as a nation and reduce much crime.
02/19/2013 5:47PM
truth or consequis
shat up your useing logic and common sence you do not do this in our free country
02/19/2013 7:24PM
poltical contributions
Please look at your elected officals and see whose recieving campaign contrubutions and you'll see why things won't change in the land of the lost. Lousyania.
02/19/2013 10:43PM
Hippocrasy In Louisiana
My friends for the last 12 years I have been living a month or more every year in Amsterdam -New orleans could actually become Amsterdam of the americas - The T-P travel writer Ms Ball wrote an article pre katrina where she actually said " amsterdam is everything New orleans thinks it is but isn't" and as far as mardi gras - everyone thinks the nopd has the best crowd control in the world and mardi gras is the greatest free showon earth - well WRONG - as a former bourbon street mounted policeman ( left when i became a Naval Aviator) april 30th - Queensday in Amsterdam and the netherlands is absolutely the biggest free party in the world - google it think of it as mardi gras on literally every street in new orleans - the floats actually float - and the royalty is real
02/19/2013 10:51PM
Hippocrasy In Louisiana part 2
this past yr the conservative majority party in the netherlands tried to restrict admittance to the coffee shops in amsterdam to residents only - they were too stupid to realize how much their economy is based on tourist coming to amsterdam for the coffe shops - well in sept the dutch booted those right wing idiots and coffe shops continue - I have already spent 2 weeks there this yr -Gee i dont think harah's brought all the gloom and doom predicted oh by the way to illustrate the hippocrasiy here in July 2011 on a Friday the times picayune ran an editorial about how DUI enforcement arrests were up from the previous year and the cove for the Lagnuiappe Entertainment section was new orleans top 100 Bars - I guess people beam into them
02/20/2013 6:38AM
Rehab for addicts
Jindal's plan makes more sense than any thing else he has done. But there's some major problems. He is just as busy closing Substance Abuse programs. Jindal definitely wants to be out of social services but I have news for him. People who need rehab frequently are without the means to pay for it. Jindal wants to privatize rehab so what happens to those who cannot pay? It seems as though every time the state provides a useful program, Jindal closes it down. Recently he shut down a mental health program for babies 0-6. While many would say that that doesn't make sense to have- I gotta tell you it was a prevention program that would have kept many of those children and their families from experiencing substance abuse problems in their teen years and later. Louisiana was one of very few states to implement this program whose mentor was an internationally renowned Tulane Psychiatrist, Charlie Zenah. Go figure. I agree that prison doesn't help- treatment is more effective and cost effective over the long haul but indigent clients have to have a place to go.
02/20/2013 9:41AM
War against drugs, war against poverty and now the latest,,,, "war against guns" >>>>laughable More drugs in the streets than ever, poverty over the roof (more people on welfare than ever) Now they want to take the guns away from responsible hard working Americans that are simply trying to protect their families and property. Do you think for one minute criminals are not going to be able to obtain guns? think again!!They will get guns and continue their criminal activities so as long as those bleeding heart judges keep putting them back on the streets. Get rid of the ACLU (they are a cancer) and finally on the topic ,,,you want to decrease the prison population? , "death penalty" , stop pampering those criminals with perks and they will no want to come back. The liberal media which has infected most networks with a driven agenda and ideology has to go, if you can't be objective then get the hell out of TV or Radio,,,,case in point,, they were actually excusing the cop-killer in California and blaming guns on the school massacre,,,,guns don't kill people kill. The botton line,,, government wants to disarmed their citizens and they will continue to use any crisis as an excuse....
02/20/2013 10:08AM
Well we have all heard this before...Prohibition does not work...one reason is that it drives a substantial black market in which bad cops and politicians get quite wealthy.
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