On May 16, New York City police tossed a stun grenade into the home of 57-year-old Alberta Spruill, city worker and church volunteer, who died from a heart attack during the mistaken drug raid. On May 23, NYC police accidentally raid the home of teacher Joe Celcis. Police smashed open the door, handcuffed several people, pointed a gun in the face of a 12-year old girl and ransacked the house for 90 minutes before realizing they had the wrong address. On Nov. 5, cops in a Charleston, SC, suburb burst into the mostly white Stratford High School at 6:45 a.m. with guns drawn and ordered mostly black students to get down on the floor while cops searched lockers and book bags for marijuana; students who didn't move fast enough were handcuffed. No drugs were found in the 45-minute raid. Seventeen of the students are suing the school district.The article also notes that a Swiss Addiction Research Institute has released a study that claims tobacco is responsible for 71 percent of all drug related deaths in the world. All of this goes nicely with the news last week that an ad agency overcharged the government millions of dollars for producing anti-drug PSA's. To me, the most shocking part of that story was not that we were overcharged, but that the budget for the ads was $684 million. Who out there still believes that our Drug War is a wise use of resources? Who in Washington will stand up and lead a movement to put an end to this? Surely it will have the support of all but the most ignorant of constituents.
It's all a matter of perspective.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Fark has a link to the Top Ten Drug War stories of 2003. This is number ten: