Monday, 26 January 2009

World Gone Mad

The damage to society from barbaric and outdated drug policies don’t usually catch the media’s interest. So I have compiled a few recent articles that show the side effects of prohibition and what happens when we lose grasp of common sense. UPDATE Check out The Australian’s, Caroline Overington’s article, Removal of Kids 'Abuse by Officials'. You may be surprised at the readers comments.

Toddlers Taken From Parents for Smoking Pot

Like a scene from Reefer Madness, officers from the New South Wales Department of Community Services(DOCS) removed 2 children from their family because the parents were recreational cannabis smokers. Unbelievably, the parents had to go to the supreme court to get them back. The judge happily obliged and in the process, blasted the actions of DOCS as a "gross abuse of power".

My principal concern is that young children who have been well cared for by their parents have been removed from their care for some three months and, if the DOCS officers have their way, will be kept out of their parents' care for another three months, for no good reason

-Supreme Court Justice George Palmer

The parents and their children had to have an assessment with a psychologist who concluded, “Both parents are well able to provide for the safety, welfare and wellbeing of their infant children".  

The parents were not mentally ill, had no relevant criminal history and were not guilty of any offence except that they occasionally smoked marijuana. 

To top it off, DOCS refused to make any comment on the case and instead of apologising they said they would “carefully examine the judgment and consider whether to appeal”. The judge said the officers' attitude showed "an intransigent refusal to acknowledge a mistake, regardless of the consequences to the children"

This is the type of strategy that the federal opposition and the Christian based political parties want introduced as laid out in the The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs”. 

Article: Children Taken From Parents With No Evidence Of Risk, Judge Says

72 Year Old Must Go to Jail - Judge

A 72 year old pensioner milkman faced court for supplying cannabis to pensioners to “ward off their aches and pains”. Although he received bail, the judges comment is the truly scary part.

You must understand these are serious offences and in my judgment the likely outcome is an immediate custodial sentence.

-Judge Beverley Lunt

The 72 year old delivered the cannabis in an egg box to the pensioners while doing his daily milk round. Obviously a criminal mastermind.

Article: Pensioner Milkman Supplied Cannabis To Pensioners

Inmate Dies After Sheriff Withholds His Medication

Sean Levert had just started a 22 month sentence for not paying child support. Although he brought his medication with him, it was withheld pending a health assessment from the jail psychiatrist. Unfortunately for Sean Levert, the assessment was 15 days away. The manager of health care services for the Cleveland county jail, Christine Dubber said inmates are not allowed to take Xanax unless they are evaluated by a jail psychiatrist. I wonder if Sean Levert was on another type of medication then would he had been seen to quicker or actually just given his medication because he already had filled a legitimate script.

Due to the volume of inmates and the level of severity, the schedule is based on need

-Christine Dubber, Manager Of Health Care Services For The Cleveland County Jail

Since the incident, Jail officials in Cleveland are examining a new policy that allows more flexibility for providing anti-anxiety medicine. Too late for Sean Levert.

Article: Sean Levert's death in jail was inexcusable

1 comment:

albi said...

Hey Terry,

I read this interesting article about the collateral damage caused by the 'war on drugs' in the US, and thought you might enjoy it.