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Decriminalizing Drugs

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NEWS
August 30, 2010
It's good to see the officials and politicians backslapping and congratulating all and sundry as the "War on Drugs " takes a tentative new course, as it appears to take at least half a century before a good idea is embraced in our political system ("A shared view of war on drugs," Aug. 28). I do not approve of the concept of simply decriminalizing drugs. Doing so would take pressure off the drug dealers, from the big distributors to the low level street sales people, but would do nothing to stop the every day stupid crime that is the result of addicts seeking the source of money to buy their daily fix. For many years I have advocated for a federal system of clinics that would dispense the common drugs to registered addicts for a low fee or at no cost.
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NEWS
August 30, 2010
It's good to see the officials and politicians backslapping and congratulating all and sundry as the "War on Drugs " takes a tentative new course, as it appears to take at least half a century before a good idea is embraced in our political system ("A shared view of war on drugs," Aug. 28). I do not approve of the concept of simply decriminalizing drugs. Doing so would take pressure off the drug dealers, from the big distributors to the low level street sales people, but would do nothing to stop the every day stupid crime that is the result of addicts seeking the source of money to buy their daily fix. For many years I have advocated for a federal system of clinics that would dispense the common drugs to registered addicts for a low fee or at no cost.
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NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Writer | September 13, 1994
Baltimore Circuit Judge Joseph P. McCurdy Jr. didn't get an answer the last time he asked a city grand jury for its thoughts on drug decriminalization, so he's asking again."
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Kelly Brewington,SUN STAFF | October 21, 2004
For years, many of the nation's leading black legislators, attorneys and social scientists complained that national drug policies were ineffective, blaming them for the disproportionate number of African-Americans in prison. But for years, little changed. Yesterday, however, a dozen African-American professional groups announced that, rather than toiling away piecemeal, they are banding together. Creating the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, they hope to spark reform with a two-pronged approach: In a handful of cities, including Baltimore, they plan to advise judges to offer treatment rather than prison sentences for drug crimes and to push education and prevention in communities.
NEWS
By Mick Rood and Mick Rood,States News Service | November 2, 1990
WASHINGTON -- Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has told proponents of drug decriminalization that there has been a "glimpse of progress" in the movement to steer the nation's anti-drug policies away from arrests and toward treatment and prevention of drug abuse."
NEWS
By John W. Frece and John W. Frece,Sun Staff Correspondent | November 1, 1990
BETHESDA -- Edward L. Blanton, the Republican candidate for attorney general, drew a deputy drug czar from Washington and nearly a dozen Harford County students yesterday to his latest campaign event against the idea of decriminalizing drugs -- or even talking about it.For the past week, Mr. Blanton has sharply attacked his Democratic opponent, incumbent J. Joseph Curran Jr., for suggesting that drug decriminalization should be discussed as an option in...
NEWS
April 24, 1992
A year into his first term as mayor, former state's attorney Kurt L. Schmoke stunned the law enforcement community with a call for a national debate on decriminalizing drugs. Treating drugs solely as a law enforcement matter, Mr. Schmoke said, not only clogs the courts and fills the prisons to overflowing but tars an entire generation with the stigma of criminality. Better to approach the drug epidemic as a public health issue, he suggested, and develop alternatives to deal with drug offenders that emphasize rehabilitation and job training.
NEWS
By Rafael Alvarez and Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF | October 29, 1996
The director of President Clinton's anti-drug policy was in Baltimore yesterday, meeting with grade-school children and telling community leaders that urban America is "seeing more tragedy than you deserve."Retired Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey -- who led U.S. assaults along the banks of the Euphrates River during the Persian Gulf war -- was the guest of Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a 7th District Democrat. After pinning reduction of cocaine use in the United States to the administration's efforts to get Peruvian peasants to grow something other than coca, McCaffrey took questions from the crowd at Liberty Medical Center.
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff | October 26, 1990
As a last resort, society might have to consider decriminalizing drugs as a way to win the war on drugs, Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. has said.Curran strongly asserted yesterday that he still favors all-out law enforcement and education efforts "to combat the tragedy of drugs." But if that fails, he said, "I think it would be prudent to at least open up a debate on decriminalizing drugs as a last alternative rather than giving up."With the general election only 11 days away, Curran, a Democrat, found himself responding to questions from reporters about his views on a controversial subject -- decriminalization of drugs.
NEWS
By GLENN McNATT | December 11, 1993
A few days ago, during a casual conversation with a teen-ageboy who lives in the neighborhood, the subject of guns and drugs came up.My young informant mentioned a friend of his whom I had met, then nonchalantly added, ''He can get a gun any time he `D wants.''It turned out the young man's friend knew people who occasionally employed him as a low-level runner in their business, which was selling drugs. Apparently they lend him a handgun whenever they require his services. After the job, he returns the weapon to its owner along with the cash and unsold merchandise.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | May 20, 2003
Anton J.S. Keating, a British-born criminal defense lawyer who lost a race for Baltimore state's attorney last year, filed yesterday to run as a Democratic candidate for mayor and promptly opened verbal fire on Mayor Martin O'Malley. The 59-year-old lawyer criticized the extensive anti-terrorism measures taken by O'Malley since Sept. 11, 2001. Keating said time and money would be better spent shoring up safety on the streets. "More people have been murdered here than have been killed by terrorists," Keating said.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | November 12, 1997
Baltimore City Circuit Judge David Mitchell sat on the panel and uttered -- on this day of media-bashing -- seeming heresy."You have to be sure the media are available to grasp what you do," Mitchell told the gathering at the symposium on sentencing sponsored by the American Judicature Society in San Diego. "The media have a responsibility to educate the public. If you are fair and honest with them, they're going to reciprocate."As if he were determined to drag symposium participants kicking and screaming back to reality, Mitchell continued to be a gadfly, chastising those who thought the main problems with sentences were judges.
NEWS
By Rafael Alvarez and Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF | October 29, 1996
The director of President Clinton's anti-drug policy was in Baltimore yesterday, meeting with grade-school children and telling community leaders that urban America is "seeing more tragedy than you deserve."Retired Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey -- who led U.S. assaults along the banks of the Euphrates River during the Persian Gulf war -- was the guest of Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a 7th District Democrat. After pinning reduction of cocaine use in the United States to the administration's efforts to get Peruvian peasants to grow something other than coca, McCaffrey took questions from the crowd at Liberty Medical Center.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | February 12, 1995
What do you suppose the reaction would be to a U.S. senator's proposition that the use of cocaine and heroin be legalized? Lots of yakety-yak on talk radio? Ted Koppel doing a few nights of "Nightline" on the subject?Decriminalization is the occasional gruel of talk-show conversation. It is not a line item in the "Contract with America." Though there's merit to the argument that legalizing drugs would reduce the violent crime associated with its commerce, a long political crusade would be necessary to galvanize the nation in ,, support.
NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Writer | September 13, 1994
Baltimore Circuit Judge Joseph P. McCurdy Jr. didn't get an answer the last time he asked a city grand jury for its thoughts on drug decriminalization, so he's asking again."
NEWS
By GLENN McNATT | December 11, 1993
A few days ago, during a casual conversation with a teen-ageboy who lives in the neighborhood, the subject of guns and drugs came up.My young informant mentioned a friend of his whom I had met, then nonchalantly added, ''He can get a gun any time he `D wants.''It turned out the young man's friend knew people who occasionally employed him as a low-level runner in their business, which was selling drugs. Apparently they lend him a handgun whenever they require his services. After the job, he returns the weapon to its owner along with the cash and unsold merchandise.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | November 12, 1997
Baltimore City Circuit Judge David Mitchell sat on the panel and uttered -- on this day of media-bashing -- seeming heresy."You have to be sure the media are available to grasp what you do," Mitchell told the gathering at the symposium on sentencing sponsored by the American Judicature Society in San Diego. "The media have a responsibility to educate the public. If you are fair and honest with them, they're going to reciprocate."As if he were determined to drag symposium participants kicking and screaming back to reality, Mitchell continued to be a gadfly, chastising those who thought the main problems with sentences were judges.
NEWS
By GLENN McNATT | October 30, 1993
Many people are saying Washington Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly's recent request for National Guard troops to quell the District's soaring homicide rate amounted to a confession of failure.A lot of those people are the same ones who denounced Baltimore's Mayor Schmoke a few years ago when he suggested decriminalizing drugs. To do so, they claimed, would be a ''confession of failure.''ZTC In both cases, however, ''confessing failure'' was exactly the right thing to do. We are unlikely to make any progress against the problems that are eating away at the core of urban America until we acknowledge that the policies we have pursued so far just haven't worked.
NEWS
By GLENN McNATT | October 30, 1993
Many people are saying Washington Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly's recent request for National Guard troops to quell the District's soaring homicide rate amounted to a confession of failure.A lot of those people are the same ones who denounced Baltimore's Mayor Schmoke a few years ago when he suggested decriminalizing drugs. To do so, they claimed, would be a ''confession of failure.''ZTC In both cases, however, ''confessing failure'' was exactly the right thing to do. We are unlikely to make any progress against the problems that are eating away at the core of urban America until we acknowledge that the policies we have pursued so far just haven't worked.
NEWS
By Sandy Banisky and Sandy Banisky,Staff Writer | August 18, 1993
Continuing his high-profile interest in changing America's drug policies, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has invited mayors from 75 countries to Baltimore for a November conference on new approaches to the international drug crisis."
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