US OK: Editorial: Legalized Marijuana Certainly No Panacea
The Oklahoman, 27 Sep 2015 - ADVOCATES for legalizing recreational marijuana argue that shift shouldn't upset people, claiming the drug's use differs little from alcohol consumption. A new report from Colorado suggests that's only true if people are fine with drunk driving and public intoxication of school children. That report, by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, demonstrates that legalized marijuana's impact in Colorado is not benign. The report examines a wide range of statistics over several years that marijuana became less regulated. In 2006, Colorado legalized "medical" marijuana use. Greater commercialization was unleashed in 2009. And since 2013, full-blown recreational use has been legal.
US OK: Forfeiture Debate Spills Down Turnpike
Tulsa World, 02 Sep 2015 - Legislators heard opposing arguments at opposite ends of the Turner Turnpike on Tuesday as two Republican state senators waged dueling public hearings on the state's civil asset forfeiture law. At the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, witnesses assembled by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, testified to a forfeiture process rife with real and potential problems that encourage the seizure of private assets by law enforcement. At the Tulsa Police Academy in north Tulsa, a roomful of law officers and prosecutors voiced outrage at that notion and said forfeiture is one of the most important weapons in the war against drugs.
US OK: Pot Petition Signatures To Be Sought Soon
Tulsa World, 28 Aug 2015 - Efforts to Legalize Medical Marijuana Move Ahead in State. OKLAHOMA CITY - Supporters of an effort to legalize medical marijuana hope to begin gathering signatures in early September. Last week, members of Green the Vote filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office indicating their intent.
US OK: Column: Drug Cartels' 'Vocabulary Of Mutilation'
Tulsa World, 09 Aug 2015 - WASHINGTON - Novelist and conscientious objector to America's longest "war," Don Winslow was skeptical when he was in Washington on a recent Sunday. This was shortly after news broke about the escape, from one of Mexico's "maximum security" prisons, of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Mexico's top drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has twice escaped from a maximum-security prison. Guzman reportedly escaped through a five-foot-tall tunnel almost a mile long and built solely for his escape. Asked about this, Winslow, his fork poised over an omelet, dryly said he thinks Guzman might actually have driven away from the prison's front gate in a Lincoln Town Car. What might seem like cynicism could be Winslow's realism.
US OK: Column: The Cartels' 'Vocabulary Of Mutilation'
The Oklahoman, 06 Aug 2015 - WASHINGTON - Don Winslow, novelist and conscientious objector to America's longest "war," was skeptical when he was in Washington on a recent Sunday morning. This was shortly after news broke about the escape, from one of Mexico's "maximum security" prisons, of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Guzman reportedly escaped through a 5-foottall tunnel almost a mile long and built solely for his escape. Asked about this, Winslow dryly said he thinks Guzman might actually have driven away from the prison's front gate in a Lincoln Town Car. What might seem like cynicism could be Winslow's realism. Fourteen years ago, Guzman escaped from another "maximum security" prison simply by hiding in a laundry cart.
US OK: Forfeiture Fray
The Oklahoman, 18 May 2015 - Senator Denies Claims That Plan to Change Law Is Grab for Money A state senator has upset law enforcement officers across the state by saying the state's drug money forfeiture law needs to be changed to protect the innocent.
US OK: LTE: A Malignant Cancer
The Oklahoman, 15 May 2015 - I agree almost completely with David Read (Your Views, May 8): Drugs are not the "harmless recreation" that is the viewpoint of liberals and, unfortunately, a lot of conservatives. Drugs destroy lives. Do I need to point further than Skyla Whitaker and her friend? Walking on a familiar country road and shot by a recreational drug user? What will it take to wake this country up? More people need to realize that the purpose of the law is to protect society, not to let criminals off time and time again in order to satisfy some sociological sense of guilt. The law has many safeguards to protect people who are wrongly accused, but if someone is guilty, they need to be locked up, period. If the prisons are overcrowded, more prisons need to be built. These kind of people aren't harmless. Users and dealers are a malignant cancer and need to be treated as such. Arrell D. Martindale
US OK: PUB LTE: Treatment Is Cheaper
The Oklahoman, 15 May 2015 - Regarding "Momentum building for justice reform" (Point of View, May 9): J.C. Watts recommends "shortening prison sentences for nonviolent offenders - or diverting people from prison altogether" to reduce prison costs. What he doesn't say: Nonviolent offenders are drug users supporting their addiction selling drugs to other users. Oklahoma isn't the place to rethink 100 years of failed attempts to control narcotics and "dangerous drugs" by criminal laws prohibiting possession or sale of drugs. It started with the federal Harrison Act (opium, 1912), leading every state to prosecute drug users/sellers since the 1930s. Former Congressman Watts and his task force on federal corrections reform need to determine whether criminal justice systems are suitable for folks addicted to drugs. They may discover drug addictions increased during the "war on drugs." Invest taxpayer money in treatment programs. That's much cheaper than doubling Oklahoma's prison population. Transfer narcotic enforcement officers to street patrols. Let them arrest real criminals.
US OK: PUB LTE: Time To Declare Peace In Failed Drug War
The Oklahoman, 10 May 2015 - Regarding "Law an example of why more reform is needed" (Our Views, May 3): When it comes to preventing drug use, mass incarceration is a cure worse than the disease. The drug war is not the promoter of family values some would have us believe. Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but society as a whole does too. Incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in criminal behavior. Prisons transmit violent habits rather than reduce them. Nonviolent drug offenders are eventually released, with dismal job prospects because of criminal records.