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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Should we decriminalize heroin? Or watch young white people die?

Heroin ain't just a black and jazz musician thing anymore. There is a new epidemic of heroin deaths among young white people. 

Legalizing marijuana took the profit out of selling illegal marijuana. 

Mexican cartels knew their primary product was losing value. They changed up to manufacturing and selling the purest white heroin. They designed an Amazon style delivery system to go with their new heroin product, direct to you door. Law enforcement here doesn’t know quite how they do it.

The potency and nationwide availability of Mexican heroin is causing young white people to die. It’s changing how communities deal with addiction. 

I think it’s affected the drug business and crime in Coatesville. Coatesville is no longer needed as a drug depot for Chester County. A street slinger isn’t part of the Mexican cartel heroin system. 

We appear to have less arrests for heroin distribution and more armed robberies in the Coatesville area. 

Is Mexican heroin is taking business away from Coatesville dealers?

It’s a guess. 

As far as I can tell there are no stats on Mexican drug cartel heroin distribution. So far the Mexican distribution system is opaque to law enforcement. It can be tracked by heroin deaths of white people, but the drugs are delivered from Mexico to your door in a closed system that is opaque to law enforcement. 
I wrote about this before: 
Since Prohibition Chester County organized crime has been Republican. It could change to Democrat
Our choice is watching young white people die or decriminalizing heroin. 

Portugal decriminalized heroin in 2001. Now “Past-year heroin use is now statistically close to zero” in Portugal.

We need all of Portugal’s system for heroin decriminalization to work. 

It’s not just making heroin possession a summary offense. We need a free national health care system for everyone in the country to insure the treatment part works. 

“If one of my children were a drug addict, what would I want for him?

I would want what any parent would: for his addiction to be treated as a health problem, not a criminal matter, and for him to have every kind of help possible to get him off drugs. Until that happened, I would want him to be able to manage his addiction and live a normal life by taking methadone or another substitute opioid. And until that happened, for him to stay as safe as possible from overdosing, developing H.I.V., or going to prison, which would irrevocably alter the course of his post-addiction life.

What’s significant about the question is not how I would answer, but the probability that I might be asked it at all. Because I am white and middle class, society would view my addict child as a sick person who needed help. 

If I were African-American and poor, he would most likely be seen as a criminal to be locked up. And no one would be interested in what I wanted, or what was best for him.

A few weeks ago, The Times reported on how the new demographics of heroin — nearly 90 percent of new users in the last decade are white — is softening America’s drug policies. Another factor is the new (and extremely belated) awareness among American officials of the toxicity of mass incarceration, with a quarter of American prisoners locked up for drug offenses.   While African-Americans are 12 percent of the country’s drug users, they are 59 percent of people in state prisons on drug offenses; reducing race bias in the criminal justice system means ending the war on drugs.   Meanwhile, 20 states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana — what happened to viewing it as a gateway drug?

New England and Appalachia have been hit particularly hard by the heroin and opioid epidemic in the United States, but all across the country, policies are emerging that treat drugs as a health problem instead of a crime. Conservative politicians who once called needle exchange the devil’s work are now establishing them in their cities. Police officers now carry naloxone, a drug that instantly reverses overdoses, and are saving lives on a daily basis. Cities all over the country are copying Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, in which police officers put low-level drug offenders into treatment and social services instead of jail. It is hard to imagine Congress decriminalizing drugs, but easy to imagine that soon, any debate at the national level may be irrelevant.

Where will that take us? We can look at what happened in various countries that have decriminalized drugs.

Portugal has gone the furthest. It decriminalized the personal use of all drugs (dealing and trafficking are still crimes and use remains illegal) in 2001.   Its program is the most comprehensive and the best-studied.
At the turn of the century, Portugal was drowning in heroin and had the worst H.I.V. rates among injecting drug users in Europe. The country had responded with harsh drug laws, which had not helped. Indeed, the laws drove many users underground.

On July 1, 2001, Portugal reversed course, decriminalizing possession of less than 10 days’ supply of any drug. That’s not legalization. But the penalties have been made administrative, not criminal. When the police catch people using or possessing drugs, the drug is seized. Within 72 hours, the user meets with what is called a dissuasion commission. The commission has social workers and psychologists who use the police report and assess the drug user and his needs. Then the user comes before a dissuasion panel; Lisbon’s, for example, has a sociologist, a lawyer and a psychologist.

The panel can simply warn a user, or send him to appropriate social or health services — including drug treatment if the user is an addict.   Nuno Capaz, the sociologist on Lisbon’s panel, said that users were punished only if they refused to go or they were repeat offenders. The punishment can be a fine, community service, or supervision by a local agency.

Decriminalization doesn’t work alone. “You need to invest heavily in public health response,” said Niamh Eastwood, executive director of Release, a British organization. “The success of Portugal is not just a model of law reform, but also significant harm reduction and a public health response. The whole package should be deployed.”

“Decriminalization is easy,” said Capaz. “You write down that if people are caught doing illegal things, the sanctions are administrative and not criminal. The hard part is making treatment available. It works for us because it works with our health care system — drug users who want treatment can get it for free.”

As it changed its laws, Portugal set up prevention campaigns, harm-reduction measures such as needle exchange that make drug use safer, and treatment services. Although drug-free treatment is available, Portugal relies heavily on methadone and other opioid substitution therapy to gradually wean users away from drugs.

Hyper-controversial when it first started, Portugal’s program is now widely accepted.   When global recession hit in 2008, the country’s health, housing and employment programs were severely cut. That may have affected its drug policies, but when drug programs themselves were cut — mostly outside of Lisbon — the losses were less than in other programs, Capaz said. Their success largely protected them, and politicians knew that cutting treatment or prevention services would only cost more later.

With those caveats, here’s what’s happened in Portugal:"

New York Times

Decriminalizing Drugs: When Treatment Replaces Prison

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