Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chronsters turning into libertarians?

I doubt it, but it was really nice to see this:

...Starting Jan. 1, county prosecutors are instructed not to file felony charges for drug amounts under a hundredth of a gram.
How much is that? Barely a speck: A McDonald's sugar packet contains 400 times more powder. But a hundredth of a gram is the absolute minimum necessary to conduct two lab tests: one for the prosecution, one for the defense. In other words, it's the absolute minimum necessary for a fair trial.
The change is good for justice — but also good for our justice system, which has focused too much of its scarce resources on prosecuting low-level addicts instead of more dangerous criminals. Of the 46,000 drug-possession felony cases the county filed last year, a third involved less than a gram of a controlled substance. Many of those cases involved crack pipes, which almost always carry traces of cocaine residue. (Very likely the bills in your wallet do, too. Those molecules get around.)

Once again, I find myself agreeing with pretty much every single word they write here. I know well the deleterious effects of crack on its users, and (to a lesser extent) cocaine. But sooner or later we're going to have to take a look at the insane drug policies we have in place and all the deleterious effects of said policies on the Bill of Rights -- to say nothing of the effects on the justice system, which were mentioned later in the piece. I realize that we're not going to get all of it at once, just like we're not going to get all the liberty-infringing gun laws struck down -- but we have to start somewhere, and this is at least as good of a start as any. It'll be fun to see how far it is from this to not prosecuting those with certain meaningful amounts of currently illegal drugs...