Pubdate: Tue, 26 Apr 2016
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2016 Sun-Times Media, LLC
Author: James E. Gierach


The Chicago Sun- Times editorial ["Law needs to rein in government 
seizures," April 19] supporting the reform of Illinois and federal 
forfeiture laws regarding drugs and suspected drug proceeds was spot- 
on correct, and former administrator of the U. S. Drug Enforcement 
Administration Peter Bensinger's contrary opinion was dead wrong. 
["Seize cartel assets best way to beat them," letter to the editor, April 22].

As the Chicago Sun- Times editorialized on June 22, 2010, "America's 
War on Drugs is over - we lost - and it's time to get real about our 
drug laws."

Draconian prison sentences, outlawed medical marijuana, zero 
tolerance, U. N. drug prohibition treaties, police impunity for use 
of excess force and asset forfeitures are all artifacts of a lost and 
wrong-headed war on drugs, euphemism for "war on communities and people."

The failed war on drugs causes so much violence, incarceration, 
corruption and destruction of life, liberty, public health and safety 
worldwide that a special session of the United Nations General 
Assembly just adjourned Thursday in New York City a rare three-day 
meeting of world leaders regarding "the world drug problem." Old- 
guard drug prohibitionists and U. N. agencies prevailed and, 
according to the "Outcome Document," incomprehensibly adopted the 
first hour of the special session before any discussion, accomplished 
requiring that all drug policy and reforms must be subject to 
existing U. N. drug war treaties.

Asset forfeiture is one of the worst strategies of the failed world 
war on drugs. It sweeps suspected and actual drug-war assets from the 
lap of drug dealers and pours them into the lap of law enforcement 
like pirates. Though the drug war is lost and over, and everyone 
knows it, it's gravy train riders support it because of their 
personal economic interests.

The week before the Illinois General Assembly passed medical 
marijuana, Bensinger spoke against it at Moraine Valley Community 
College, an event sponsored by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Finally, the arrest of Gangster Disciples chief Larry Hoover, like 
the arrests of "El Chapo" Guzman, Pablo Escobar ( killed in the 
process) and Al Capone, did not slow the flow of drug prohibition 
profits at all. Reform drug laws, as the Chicago Sun- Times says.

James E. Gierach, Palos Park
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom