Connecticut Law Enforcement Doubles Down In The War On Drugs
Apr. 15, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Connecticut is suffering from a recent increase in fatal heroin overdoses. Deaths from opiate overdoses are also rising. It’s not just a Connecticut problem. The White House has recognized a national epidemic of opiate and heroin abuse.
What does Connecticut plan to do about this problem? In a press conference Wednesday, federal authorities announced they have received new grant money to combat it. Exciting news. Surely there are, after decades of research and study, new and cutting-edge ways to combat deadly drug addiction.
Here is the game plan. The United States Attorney’s Office and the DEA are going to partner up to go after drug dealers. Trumbull, Connecticut police lieutenant Leonard Scinto points out the long-running battle between police and drug dealers.
He said that police are facing a “constant” slog to beat back drug dealers.
“It’s never-ending — they’ve been working drug cases for 32 years, since I’ve been a cop,” Scinto said.
The feds aren’t just going after any old drug dealer. They are specifically going after the drug dealers who sell the bad drugs which make the bad things happen.
Department of Justice officials said they will focus on drug dealers “who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.”
Prosecutors said they had developed a protocol calling for local police to fast-track fatal overdose investigations and preserve evidence from them, as well as loop in DEA agents.
“The police protocol will allow investigators to preserve evidence critical to identifying and convicting those responsible for distributing these drugs,” Deirdre Daly, the state’s top prosecutor, wrote in the announcement. “Our aim is to prevent additional deaths and to hold accountable those who distribute these deadly drugs.”
And what are the specifics of this new plan to arrest drug dealers for selling drugs? The Department of Justice, well versed in press conferences crime fighting, announced the details of the experimental program.
Thomas Carson, a spokesman for Daly, said that the DEA and Daly’s office had received funding from the Department of Justice Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task force to root out “large-scale sources of heroin being distributed in Connecticut.”
The DEA, he wrote, would also get funding for overtime pay, equipment, training and “investigation of seized cellular telephones” as part of a “National Heroin Strategic Initiative.”
There you go. Killer plan. Let’s recap. The feds are going after heroin dealers. They are going to especially go after heroin dealers that sell drugs that end up killing people. When someone overdoses, the police are going to really investigate it like a crime scene. And call in the federal agents. But not just any old federal agents. These guys will have grant-funded training and toys. And don’t bother staying up late or getting up early, dope men, because there is overtime funding. The drug agents will be chasing you around the clock.
Surely this National Heroin Strategic Initiative is going to clean up the mean streets of Connecticut. Surely this increased law enforcement effort is what is needed to solve the heroin epidemic.
Finally. What these liberal lefties have really needed is the strong iron hand of law enforcement to get them off the needle. Once all the drug dealers have been arrested, good luck finding drugs in Connecticut. New ideas and new solutions. Good-bye problems.
Except for one small detail.
This is exactly what law enforcement has been doing for the last several decades without coming close to winning America’s War on Drugs. That’s not my opinion. Last fall, the very people waging the war agreed it was a failure.
The top cops in America’s four biggest cities said on Wednesday that the war on drugs has failed to keep America safe and that it’s time to reform the country’s criminal justice system, a view now officially shared by more than 125 other prosecutors, sheriffs, attorneys general, and law enforcement leaders from across the US.
Much of the focus is on the arrests of low-level offenders. Federal authorities in Connecticut seem to imply they will be looking for higher-level drug dealers as part of the “new” initiative. But plenty of resources have been spent going after the cartels that supply much of the drugs to America.
Why is the war on drugs even still an issue? This is not some backwater place that didn’t get the memo the war was a loser. This is Connecticut. Right near New York City. The announcement made by the top federal prosecutor in the state and the federal agency most responsible for America’s drug issues. Surely someone there must have read some of the opinions reflecting the current status of the war on drugs.
What exactly is Connecticut missing here? There is a basic economic law that will prevent Connecticut’s plan from working. From an economic standpoint, the war on drugs increases profits for the suppliers, creating the opposite of its intended effect.
Connecticut’s response is curious, since it appears even the White House understands the problem can’t be solved by law enforcement. Just one day after Connecticut’s announcement, President Obama announced a billion-dollar attempt to address opioid addiction. That particular drug appears to be the primary factor in the resurgence of heroin addiction.
That opioids are often a bridge to heroin abuse has made the epidemic even more pressing for health officials to address. Eighty percent of people who use heroin started doing so by using prescription pain medication, according to government data. This may happen when a patient can no longer obtain pricier opioids and turns to the street for potentially tainted painkillers or heroin.
Why is there such disconnect between the police world and the health world? In fact, there appears to be disconnect between the feds and the other feds. The White House tries one thing, while the Department of Justice repackages its old, failed strategy.
It’s hard to let go of the idea we can arrest and prosecute drugs out of existence. If all of the drug dealers can just get put in jail, there will be no drugs left. The idea makes perfect sense. In fact, it would be worth trying if not for the fact that we have decades of proof it won’t work.
Like comedian Chris Rock said, drug dealers don’t sell drugs. Drugs sell themselves. Connecticut federal cops and prosecutors should figure this out sooner rather than later. Too bad they have to waste tax dollars from a federal grant in the process.