“The war on alcohol and the war on drugs were symbiotic campaigns,” says Harvard historian Lisa McGirr, author of The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. “Those two campaigns emerged together, [and] they had the same shared…logic. Many of the same individuals were involved in both campaigns.”
Did alcohol prohibition of the 1920s ever really come to an end, or did it just metastasize into something far more destructive and difficult to abolish—what we casually refer to as “the war on drugs?” McGirr argues that our national ban on booze routed around its own repeal via the 21st Amendment. Ultimately, Prohibition transformed into a worldwide campaign against the drug trade
The ties between drug and alcohol prohibition run deep. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was established in 1930, only three years prior to Prohibition’s repeal. The FBN employed many of the same officials as the Federal Bureau of Prohibition. And both shared institutional spaces as independent entities within the U.S. Treasury Department. “In some ways,” observes McGirr, “the war never ended.”
Despite what supporters of police militarization claim, being a cop doesn’t require increasingly deadly kit. It’s not even particularly dangerous.
Daniel Bier writes: Defenders of police militarization, such as that on display in Ferguson, Missouri, often claim that it’s necessary to provide military gear to cops, given how dangerous law enforcement has become.
Indeed, in the name of the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, the federal government has provided thousands of pieces of military-grade body armor, mine-resistant armored personnel carriers, assault rifles, grenade launchers, helicopters, and night-vision goggles to local police and sheriffs. Almost every county in Americahas received equipment from these programs.
But has policing really become so dangerous that we need to arm peace officers like an invading army? The answer is no. It’s never been safer to be a cop.
To start with, few police officers die in the line of duty. Since 1900, only 18,781 police officers have died from any work-related injury. That’s an average of 164 a year. In absolute terms, officer fatalities peaked in 1930 (during alcohol prohibition) at 297, spiking again in the 1970s before steadily declining since.
If you look at police fatalities adjusted for the US population, the decline is even starker. 2013 was the safest year for American policing since 1875.
And she’s making over $53,000 a year off taxpayer money
Emma Colton reports: A Milwaukee government employee whose job was to know the signs of drug houses and report them was arrested and charged this month for running a drug ring out of her own home.
“Inside the house they found a sandwich bag filled with heroin, 1.5 pounds of weed, multiple guns, ammunition, a digital scale and $3,600 in cash.”
Milwaukee’s Department of Neighborhood Services employ Regina Sims as its property management coordinator to investigate suspected houses of dealing drugs. But after a “citizen witness reported multiple instances of drug dealing going on” at Sims’s house for about a year, according to FOX6, police got a search warrant and found a treasure trove of drugs, weapons and cash.
“citizen witness reported multiple instances of drug dealing going on at that residence for roughly one year.”
The police told FOX6 that inside the house they found a sandwich bag filled with heroin, 1.5 pounds of weed, multiple guns, ammunition, a digital scale and $3,600 in cash. Read the rest of this entry »
Hong Kong customs seized a record haul of cocaine at its international airport this week, foiling two passengers who tried to smuggle 58 million Hong Kong dollars (US$7.5 million) worth of the drug in their luggage.
One 35-year-old man arrived Tuesday from São Paulo, Brazil, after transiting in Beijing with 48 kilograms (105 pounds) of cocaine wrapped in quilts inside his suitcases, the largest amount ever seized from an individual passenger in the city’s history. A 22-year-old female traveler on the same flight was also discovered to be carrying 12 kilograms of cocaine inside false compartments of four backpacks stowed in her suitcase. They two were arrested and charged with drug trafficking.
Not including Tuesday’s cases, customs officers have seized more than HK$50 million worth of cocaine at the airport this year, found sewn into jacket linings or stuffed into shopping bags and laptop cases. On Monday, airport customs officers found about HK$1.92 million worth of the drug inside layers of silicone rubber, which were in turn tucked inside handbags, two cushions and a wall map shipped by air mail from Uruguay.