Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't be shocked... The Drug War may be coming to an end.

Before you hit the delete button....let me report what is happening at the highest level of Federal Government. From the WSJ, the new Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske calls for an end to the war on drugs... yes it is true. After decades of Nancy Reagan with just say no, billions spent every year on eradicating marijuana, the highest incarceration rates of any civilized country and turf wars between low level drug dealers that have reeked devastation across our country, FINALLY, some common sense has reached the office of drug control.

Our jails and prisons are filled with drug offenders, costing this State 47k a year to house. Overcrowding in our courts and jails has created more troubles for fair and swift justice for more seriuos crimes.

HIV is on the upswing again so is the rate of tuberculous in our prisons. The money spent on the drug war to this point is more criminal than the crimes themselves. The system has created the prison state employing and spending more than we do on education and a few small wars. We have sprayed entire regions of other countries with agent orange and have created corruption among law enforcement.

While I do admit that some of the home made drugs like meth are very bad of society, it all boils down to a health care issue and not a law enforcement problem. While the Feds and the States have spent billions on the supply side of the drug war and then the demand side, prices for most all drugs have dropped over the years, except marijuana. We have invaded countries, killed and or imprisoned leaders of States, helped fuel huge multi national drug cartels and created whole wasteful agencies battling the drug war.

The drug war has been as futile as most of the wars in my lifetime. And it is so refreshing to see the administration look for ways to end such wasteful programs. IF, the administration were to lift the ban on marijuana and hemp, billions in tax revenue could be used for health care, education, veterans and a host of other worthy programs that would enhance our society.

Look for this to happen late this year or the beginning of next. Obama realizes we can't continue to spend precious tax dollars on trying to arrest, incarcerate and deny employment to the 30 to 60 million of us who enjoy our plants flowers.

Quninn, Pacheco and the Senate... will they ever get it?

Ok tax fans... the Senate overwhelming supported a ethics overhaul and of coarse it weakens the State Ethics Commission's ability to investigate violations of the states conflict of interest laws. The bill tightens rules for lobbyists and reduce the amount that donors can give to a polictical party. The bill does NOT include the ban on gifts to public officials. It would also transfer to a state administration law agency the Ethics Commission's authority to hold hearings into alleged wrong doings. It now goes to conference to iron out the differences.

Bad for us.. good for them.

Last night WBZ reported that 100 police chiefs will resign or retire if the Quinn Bill is not funded. The Globe has reported that a Beacon Hill cop has retaliated by giving Legislators and their aids, parking tickets when they have already a permit to park on Beacon Hill.

Lets see if the Senate holds the line and stops funding another wasteful perk for law enforcement. It does account for perhaps 25% of their pay and also effects their retirement.

The Pacheco Law passed in 1993, stopped any attempt by then Gov Weld at contracting with private firms for services that can deliver savings through efficiencies. It is estimated that the savings by repealing this law would be around 150 to 300 million a year.

Bad for us.. good for State workers

Other reforms that could save big bucks, that the Senate has ignored to this point. Hiring and salary freeze for state workers, 140 million, allowing cities and town's to join the States Group Insurance and design their own health care benefits with local unions, millions here to be saved. A large cut in the salaries of the legislator or even making the positions part time would save millions.

While I do agree with blogger who say, are you surprised? or, did you not know this was happening? In in defense of us all, we have known, but have never been in such bleak finical shape in the States history.

My intent is to inform and to make public to the readers what I know and have learned and read about, our crises and the solutions that are brought forward and ignored.

We all have to ride out this situation together, hold our collective breath until 2010 when hopefully, common sense will prevail and these memories which are documented will be thought of before voting.