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By Gregory P. Kane | July 8, 1992
NACHOSA Harper, a 19-year-old resident of Gaithersburg, is in a state of high dudgeon. Four years ago her family moved from the war zone that drug dealers have made of Baltimore's Park Heights. Now the drug trade has reared its insidious head in Gaithersburg.But it's not the drug dealers who especially gall Ms. Harper. It's the complicity in the drug trade of legitimate business people who knowingly do business with drug dealers. Car dealers and electronic pager companies especially draw her ire."
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NEWS
April 14, 2014
In 2010, Baltimore City police made 64,525 arrests, and more than 7,000 of them - 11 percent of the total - were for simple possession of marijuana. That represents thousands of man-hours by Baltimore City police, Central Booking officials, prosecutors, public defenders, judges and others, all of whom had better things to do. That year Baltimore recorded 224 homicides, ranking it among the five deadliest cities in the nation. And the enforcement of laws against possession of marijuana isn't just an issue in Baltimore; overall, the state logged more than 22,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2010, the third most per capita of any state in the nation.
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NEWS
August 21, 1992
Nichelle Nicole Preston should be preparing for cheerleading practice at Glen Burnie High School. Instead, she is dead. She died a week shy of her 17th birthday, from inhaling butane fumes from a can. There are many senseless ways to die, but it is hard to imagine a greater waste than this.So far, the war on drugs has isolated the "sexy" drugs -- cocaine, heroin, marijuana -- as the enemy while ignoring cruder but equally dangerous substances like butane. That has been a mistake.Though deaths from inhalant abuse are rare, Ms. Preston's tragedy reflects what experts say is a growing trend toward abuse of cheap, easily obtained household items -- metallic spray paints, solvents, cleaning fluids, gasoline, even the "white-out" used for typewriter corrections.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2014
Not long after Neill Franklin stepped behind a lectern in Annapolis to argue for making marijuana legal, the retired law enforcement officer was fighting tears again. It happens all the time - whenever he pauses to think of the futility of the war on drugs and the lives he says have been wasted. "We've been at this forever," he said. "It never worked. " As a broadening coalition pushes to legalize marijuana in Maryland this year, advocates have turned to Franklin to help sell the idea.
NEWS
By Thomas E. Noel | July 11, 2001
NEARLY A decade ago, then-Circuit Judge Kenneth Lavon Johnson questioned why the focus of the war on drugs in Baltimore City was not on the upper echelon of the drug trafficking business, the importer-wholesaler. Since then, only one year has passed in which the murder rate in Baltimore City did not exceed 300. Most of these killings are believed to be related to the illegal drug industry. Our criminal justice systems are flooded with arrests of lower-level street dealers and addicts. As a result, the correctional facilities struggle to house the ever-increasing numbers of these small-time drug defendants.
NEWS
By Michael Olesker | January 17, 2002
IT WAS LOVELY to see A. Robert Kaufman the other morning. He showed up at North Avenue and Rosedale and about 15 guys, who were out there either selling dope or basking in the delightful arctic winds, immediately vacated the corner. It's hard to know why. Kaufman doesn't want to put them in jail. He just wants to put them out of business. There is a distinction, and it's the basis of Kaufman's latest plunge into his familiar realm of sheer political futility. This time, he's running for Congress, aiming for Elijah Cummings' seat.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff writer | March 1, 1992
The pictures up on the screen showed hordes of people enjoying themselves in a tie-dye fantasy world where licking little pictures of Woodstock or inhaling balloons full of laughing gas are merely part of the fun."There's a real sense of togetherness at one of these Grateful Dead concerts," said Michael College, a state police narcotics officer."It's real nostalgic. It's almost like you expect to see Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix come out and play a song."College was showing slides of concerts to the more than 500 parents, school officials and students who virtually filled a Liberty High auditorium Wednesdaynight for a drug-use forum.
NEWS
By Mark Guidera and Mark Guidera,Staff Writer | September 15, 1992
Few studies have created more discussion and controversy than a recent report that 56 percent of black males 18 to 35 years old have been snagged in Baltimore's criminal justice system.The director of the group behind that research, Herbert J. Hoelter, 42, lives in the Ten Hills neighborhood of West Baltimore. His group, based in Alexandria, Va., is the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA).Before co-founding NCIA, Mr. Hoelter was an assistant to the Pennsylvania Commissioner on Children and Youth.
NEWS
By Philip D. Harvey | May 22, 2001
WASHINGTON -- The deaths of a missionary and her child over Peru last month serve as a brutal reminder that the war on drugs is a shooting war. The CIA's continuing involvement with the Peruvian government to intercept drug runners also exemplifies the sadly mistaken belief that America's drug problem can be solved by attacking sources of supply. Indeed, Donnie R. Marshall, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has recently written that the demand for drugs does not drive the supply; rather it's the other way around.
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | March 4, 2004
A LITTLE news for the many Jamal Lewis fans -- of whom I am one -- who think the Baltimore Ravens' great running back is a victim of an overzealous federal prosecutor reaching too far to make a case out of the word "Yeah," uttered during a cellular telephone call four years ago: We're still at war. In case you missed it, the U.S. government has been engaged in a war on drugs since Jamal Lewis was a toddler. Ronald Reagan declared the war in 1982, and Poppy Bush escalated it in 1989. Congress has increased the legal weaponry of federal agencies and prosecutors, and forced mandatory minimum sentencing on judges.
NEWS
December 19, 2013
I am sad to read the recent commentary against legalizing marijuana ( "The folly of marijuana legalization," Dec. 12). It is an ignorant attempt to cling to outdated beliefs and lacks the vision our country deserves. The position of opponents like Gregory Kline, that the government is better suited to manage the individual than the individual himself, is an insult to the America people. The most common cry from opponents about legalization is about exposing children to marijuana.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | August 15, 2013
It's been a war on justice, an assault on equal protection under the law. And a war on families, removing millions of fathers from millions of homes. And a war on money, spilling it like water. And a war on people of color, targeting them with drone strike efficiency. We never call it any of those things, though all of them fit. No, we call it the War on Drugs. It is a 42-year, trillion-dollar disaster that has done nothing -- underscore that: absolutely nothing -- to stem the inexhaustible supply of, and insatiable demand for, illegal narcotics.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | August 12, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement - that low-level drug offenders with no history of violence and no ties to gangs will no longer face severe, mandatory federal prison sentences - is the first step in returning sanity and integrity to a justice system commandeered nearly 30 years ago by grandstanding, overzealous politicians. But it comes way too late for the 20-year-old drug slinger featured in one of Judge Andre Davis's war stories. Davis, from Baltimore, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
NEWS
By Neill Franklin | June 17, 2013
Thirteen years ago, Cpl. Ed Toatley was working undercover for the Maryland State Police when he was murdered during a botched drug deal in Washington, D.C. Ed was a close friend of mine, and his tragic death Oct. 30, 2000, began my quest to end America's longest war, the failed war on drugs. That quest led me to the newly formed Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international nonprofit organization for law enforcement professionals embarking on journeys similar to mine, where I have served as executive director for the past three years.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | April 27, 2013
Let me start with this: If not for the absurd war on drugs — by far, the nation's longest war — we would not have had so many killings on the streets of Baltimore over the years. The United States leads the world in incarceration. Without the war on drugs, thousands of men and women would be home with their families instead of in cellblocks; they might even be employed. There would be less social dysfunction and community upheaval. There would be less crime overall. If not for the war on drugs, now in its fifth decade, we would not have gangsters, like the reputed Black Guerrilla Family leaders Eric Brown and Tavon White.
NEWS
January 22, 2013
Congratulations to Bob Ehrlich for pointing out that the United States, the supposed "land of the free," is now the largest jailer nation in the world ("Obama's unpardonable neglect of clemency," Jan. 13). This country is using its own legal system to tear itself apart, and for what? It's a word no one dares use, but it's what we have here in America - prohibition, also known as the "war on drugs. " And I applaud Mr. Ehrlich for pointing in the right direction, but tinkering with parole and pardons is little more than arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
NEWS
August 13, 2012
The death of a Reisterstown man who was not the subject of a police arrest warrant during a SWAT team raid this summer unfortunately is nothing new ("Reisterstown fatality raises concerns about police raids," Aug. 9). Since President Reagan initiated the so-called "war on drugs" in 1981, these tactics have become increasingly common. SWAT teams were originally intended for violent situations. Today, however, they are deployed quite regularly, often to serve narcotics warrants as part of this misguided and racially biased "war on drugs.
NEWS
July 30, 2012
Regarding your recent article about Baltimore's drug problem, anyone whom has visited a city courthouse, taken a police ride-along or grown up in one of the city's poorer black communities knows there is a war going on here ("Anti-drug-war cop wants Baltimore police commissioner opening," July 26). That war is being fought for unclear reasons with horrific results. The official name for it is the "war on drugs," but a more apt name would be the war on reason. Prohibition has failed, and the effects it is having on Baltimore are far worse than those of the city's high property tax rate.
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