Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Note: Oped; Until something is done about the doper, nothing
improves. If, besides destroying lives, there is no penalty, why
should they stop? Legalization? Free dope? Free meals, housing,
etc? Where would it stop? Maybe there was a reason that these drugs
were made illegal so many years ago? How many parasites can a
society support?

Officials: Drug fight must focus on demand
by Daniel González - May. 21, 2012 11:11 PM
The Republic | azcentral.com

Federal and state law-enforcement officials told a congressional
panel in Arizona on Monday that efforts to combat drug trafficking
from Mexico to the United States must include reducing the demand for
illegal drugs in this country, not just more enforcement.

The officials cited numerous examples in which increased
collaboration between law-enforcement agencies in the U.S. and
Mexico, especially when it comes to sharing intelligence, has been
effective in combating international drug organizations that use
Arizona as a major corridor to smuggle marijuana, methamphetamine and
heroin into the country.

But they said more emphasis needs to be placed on reducing the demand
for drugs.

"When I first started, I thought I was going to arrest my way out of
the problem," said Elizabeth Kempshall, a former head of the Drug
Enforcement Administration's Arizona office who is now executive
director of the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a
federal program that coordinates drug-control efforts among local,
state and federal law-enforcement agencies.

"I was going to arrest every bad guy, and we were going to eliminate
the drug-abuse problem," Kempshall said. "But I've learned through
experience and hard knocks that it has to be a coordinated approach
between law enforcement, demand reduction and treatment."

Kempshall's comment came in response to a question from U.S. Rep.
Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., during a bipartisan field hearing in Phoenix to
look at ways to improve collaboration among law-enforcement agencies
in combating international drug-smuggling organizations during a time
of budget cuts. "We need to keep teaching our children about the
dangers of drug abuse," Kempshall said.

Gosar had asked what could be done to stop the rise in superlabs in
Mexico that produce methamphetamine to be smuggled into the U.S.

Matthew Allen, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement in Phoenix, told Gosar, "You might find this surprising
coming from someone in law enforcement," but addressing the demand
for illegal drugs in the U.S. is as important as cracking down on
drug-smuggling organizations.

"It wouldn't get produced and it wouldn't come here if we didn't use
it," Allen said.

The comments reflect a divide among some policy makers and law-
enforcement officials over the nation's strategy in its war on drugs.
Critics have noted that demand for illegal drugs has been largely
untouched over the decades by billions of dollars spent attempting to
halt their flow into the United States. But others have been
reluctant to let up on the fight against suppliers in favor of more
demand-oriented policies, calling it a soft-on-crime stance.

Brig. Gen. Jose Salinas, director of the Joint Staff of the Arizona
National Guard, said a drug-prevention program run by the Guard at
elementary schools is being eliminated because of military budget
cuts. He praised the drug-prevention program as an important part of
the Guard's counter-drug strategy, which includes providing
intelligence analysis and other support to the Border Patrol and
other federal agencies.

But the program's effectiveness "is very hard to quantify" and, as a
result, is being cut, he said.

The hearing, held at the Guard's headquarters in Phoenix, was hosted
by Reps. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz.; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; and Gosar.

Lee said "one of the strongest messages I will take back to
Washington" from the hearing is the need to do more about reducing
the demand for drugs.

Quayle told The Arizona Republic after the hearing that he agreed.
"We have to work on the demand side as well as the supply side,"
Quayle said.

In 2011, anti-drug-smuggling initiatives in Arizona disrupted or
dismantled 37 drug-smuggling organizations, Kempshall said. The
initiatives resulted in the seizure of more than 1.1 million pounds
of marijuana last year, up 118 percent from the year before, she said.

Law-enforcement agencies also seized 1,600 pounds of meth and 560
pounds of heroin last year in Arizona, up 88 percent and 1,017
percent respectively, she said.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/

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