Thursday, March 15, 2018


I was part of the failed "War on Drugs" and made 2500+ arrests during the 1980s that saved taxpayers ~$160 million in potential property losses and law enforcement. Despite that, I knew that its prosecution was folly.

To fix this requires a completely different strategy that is based on two FACTS:

1) Most crime is drug-related and;

2) Rehabilitation requires a sincere desire to change. (Most addicts don't want to.)

I recommend a state-run program that sends bonafide criminal-addicts to secure rehabilitation centers (closed military bases are great venues). These centers would offer two specific services:

* The “rehab” wing would offer the best rehabilitation techniques and services known in the Western World, along with out-patient support, job training, and counseling. If an addict completes the program and pisses clean for nine months he/she can be released.

* The "addict" wing would offer pharmaceutical doses of the drug of choice - cocaine, meth, alcohol, cannabis, opiates, mushrooms, LSD etc. - under the care of medical practitioners. In this environment, prostitutes won’t turn tricks and burglars and robbers won’t steal to score adulterated street drugs. Addicts in that wing could stay indefinitely and be released to the Rehab-wing for treatment upon request.

In this way, street drug sales would plummet. After all, why would anyone buy adulterated street drugs when they could acquire pharmaceutical doses of their favorite drug in a secure environment? With most drug-addicted criminals no longer committing crime to score drugs, crime would plummet across the cities and states that utilized the program. And while the initial costs would be high, those costs would be gradually offset as drug-related prisoners transferred from jails and prisons to these rehab centers. As the addict-population rises, the jail populations would shrink.

I also support the idea that anyone can grow and consume any illicit drug they produce personally, but that any commercial sale of their products would result in incarceration and asset forfeiture. Drug-related crime like DUI and manslaughter would result in a prison sentence, followed by the program.

The biggest benefit is that these centers would segregate drug users from the rest of society at the discretion of the addicts themselves - a moral and constitutional solution. I pitched this to Congress years ago. I suspect that law enforcement and prison unions don’t want to jeopardize the status quo. BTW... If you wonder how I calculated my personal $160 million contribution to the LA economy, here it is:

Between 1985-1989, I averaged 4.5 §11550 H&S arrests a day, 22 each week, or 900 addicts a year (assuming 40 weeks a year on the street). During that 48-month period, I made 2,500+ §11550 arrests.

The typical drug addict commits at least five property crimes each day to support their addictions. Their crimes (burglary, robbery, shoplift, B/TFMV, and 484) are not dollar for dollar: That is, the replacement cost for a watch, TV, purse, computer, or cell phone usually costs more than fees paid by a fence or insurance settlement. Addicts might get $100 for a $2000 watch. For computational ease, let’s assume that each crime CONSERVATIVELY represents an average $50 loss to victims. Addicts who commit five crimes a day represent a minimum property loss of $250 (five crimes X $50).

I didn’t include the repair costs of a broken door or window, or the health costs from being attacked by robbers, the injuries, hospitalization, lost work, psychological trauma, and so forth, nor will I include the costs for addict "rehabilitation", incarceration, or international drug interdiction efforts.

By applying these numbers we can accept that by arresting one addict who spends 180 days in jail, I effectively prevented 900 crimes (five crimes X 180 days) and the property loss of $45,000 ($50 X 900 crimes).

If we assume a minimum replacement cost of $50 per stolen item (it is far greater), we can estimate another $45,000, bringing the total cost savings to victims (and their insurers) at $90,000 during 180 days of incarceration.

Back then, taxpayers spent at least $300 for police to investigate these crimes, which includes fuel, vehicle maintenance, uniform and equipment wear and tear; administrative costs, training, and follow-up investigations and prosecution. Not every crime is reported to police, so if we assume that 200 of those 900 crimes are reported, the LAPD spent $60,000 to investigate those 200 crimes.

This means that if one addict is sentenced to 180 days in jail, LA residents and taxpayers will save at least $210,000 in property loss and investigative costs.

If we apply these numbers to the 2500+ addicts I arrested, we can roughly estimate that my efforts alone saved LA residents and taxpayers at least $200 MILLION in lost property and tax revenues. I wasn't alone - most patrol divisions deployed hype cars.

I typically released arrestees without bail on their "own recognizance" (OR) who provided urine samples and good ID (most did). I couldn't order them to provide a urine sample, so I offered the OR if they provided good ID and urine that would 1) confirm their identity and 2) obtain urine that would prove the crime.

They almost never appeared in court and the judge often issued a high-bail warrant for their arrest ($50-$100K) so they couldn't bail out. As a result, patrol officers who observed the suspect but didn't have enough evidence or probable cause to arrest was relieved to learn that they could arrest the suspect on outstanding warrants. At that time, sentencing guidelines prevented judges and sheriffs from releasing the suspects in less than 180 days.

Unfortunately, §11550 is no longer enforced because Marxist judges and legislators view property crime as a form of "wealth redistribution" under the pretext of compassion - that these are "non-violent crimes" that are perpetrated by the poor and sick who deserve our help and compassion.

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