S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Wednesday, December 03, 2003

A study just can't explain why womens salaries have been lower than mens salaries....

Discrimination, maybe.

Monday, December 01, 2003

According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse 34 percent of New York Undergraduate students used marijuana in 1996. Students attending college in Upstate New York and Suburban New York City have higher use rates than those attending college in New York City.

According to an infoplease article "An estimated 15.9 million Americans age 12 years or older were current users of illicit drugs in 2001, meaning they used an illicit drug at least once during the 30 days prior to being interviewed. This represents 7.1% of the population 12 years or older." Yet a 2001 survey by the CORE Institute found that 21.9% of American college students that were sampled used marijuana in the 30 days prior to the survey, as had 2.4% done Cocaine, 4.5% done Amphetamines, 2.2% done Sedatives, 2.1% Hallucinogens, 1% done Opiates, 1% done Inhalants, 2.9% done Designer drugs, and 0.7% done Steroids.

If the authorities want to cut down on our country's hot spot of drug use, shouldn't they look at the flow on college campuses? That's the conclusion that any literate, internet ready dummy can figure out just after peeking at the statistics above. Nevertheless, the cops are too busy throwing dark skinned people in jail to notice that colleges are crawling with drugs.

The big coincidence is, of the college kids surveyed, 80.7% of them were Caucasians, only 7.4% of them were African-American, and only 3.9% were Hispanic; there are simply not enough darkies on these campuses for the cops to bust down doors and flash their shiny guns and sexy handcuffs.

Another huge coincidence brought to us by another infoplease article is that 40.1% of whites in the U.S. have tried marijuana, compared to 33.1% of blacks and 25.6% of Latinos. Somehow, 94% percent of all drug offenders in prison are Latino or black.

The Conservative explanation is that the blacks and Latinos can't control their damn selves in New York and they have to commit 94% of the drug crimes, otherwise they wouldn't be in jail, their rightful home.

The truth is that our current justice system needs to be blown to smitherines and replaced.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

The thousands of low-level drug offenders in New York prisons are the result of mandatory minimum sentencing drug laws that are among the most punitive in the United States (U.S.). Put in place over a quarter century ago, the so-called Rockefeller drug laws prevent judges from tailoring sentences that are proportionate to the crime. Harsh prison sentences are required for even minor offenses; judges lack the authority to impose alternatives to incarceration such as community-based sanctions or substance abuse treatment. (Although there are prosecutor-sponsored diversion programs in some parts of the state, they require prosecutorial consent, and they exclude many drug offenders from eligibility. Human Rights Watch, "Cruel and Usual.")
That quote is from a report titled, "Collateral Casualties" by Human Rights Watch.

A few facts about the Rockefeller Drug Laws:

They were enacted in 1973 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller (R) New York.

They were meant to deter drug use by guaranteeing swift, inflexible punishment for druggies and pushers, or marginalize those peeps who would not be deterred by the big, bad mandatory minimums.

In theory, the drug laws are designed to capture drug kingpins....

The mandatory minimums rips the convicted's role out of context because the sentences are based upon the weight of the drugs found on him/her. It does not matter if the person caught is a street rat or a kingpin, the sentencing kicks in based upon how much narcata is caught on the defendant. Whether the convicted had ever been convicted of a crime prior to the sentencing makes no difference in New York.

The mandatory minimum sentence is no less than 15 years to life for anyone convicted of selling 2 ounces or possessing 4 ounces of a narcotic substance (marijuana does not count as a 'narcotic substance'). Possession of two ounces or the sale of half an ounce of a narcotic mandates three years to life in prison.[The Federal minimum is 5 years for 18 ounces of cocaine].

**A conviction under the Rockefeller Drug Laws is a class A felony.**

Class A felons receive the same maximum sentence as people convicted of murder, arson, and kidnapping. They are punished more severely than felons convicted of rape, manslaughter, and robbery.

Fifty-five percent of all Class A drug felons have no prior criminal convictions of any kind.

Pointed points

This has to be one of the stupidest (or most diabolically racist and clever) laws I've ever read. Right now, I'm ashamed to be from New York.

No drug kingpin would ever get busted under this legislation.

If I were a drug lord, I would never even smell like drugs, much less carry it on me, I would hire people to transport the stuff for me! If you are not caught with drugs, you are not a felon considering who the cops target. The only people who escape without the wacko mandatory minimums are the people who can deliver some info to the prosecutors. If they catch a street rat that's 5 levels removed from the regional pusher, what the hell is that motherf***er gonna know about the higher ups? Jack squat, that's what.

I go to Columbia University, and I know of several drug dealers. I'm also from Harlem an African and Latino American neighborhood in New York City. I've witnessed police raids and street arrests of low level dealers in Harlem, one was instigated by a police complaint by my own mother. Drug use and drug dealing is alive and well at Columbia University and at hundreds of elite Univerrsities in this country. What's the last drug raid you've heard about at any place like that?

I can't prove it right now, but I suspect that the rate of drug use on college campuses far exceeds that of any black or latino neighborhood in this country; yet rich private school college kids don't get arrested, poor people, and brown skinned people do, maybe we'll explore this question on a later date.

Conspiracy or Coincidence?!

After every fact filled line, why don't you, reader, quietly hum to yourself, "conspiracy or coincidence?" Society's Memory Bank is a fair and balanced journal, so you should let your conscience hum back the answer...

Drop the Rock has a very accessible website that breaks down the Rockefeller Drug Laws, their affects and their political implications. Watch 'em soar:

There is a stark racial discrepancy between those who use and sell drugs but avoid arrest and incarceration---mainly middle and upper-class white people---and those who are arrested on drug offenses and incarcerated under the drug laws---mainly poor people of color (conspiracy or coincidence?!).

Although studies such as the Health and Human Services National Household Survey show that the majority of people who use and sell drugs are white, African-Americans and Latinos comprise about 94% of the drug offenders in New York State prisons.(conspiracy or coincidence?!).

The need for economic development in depressed upstate, rural areas has been met by the construction and staffing of prisons. Largely because of the drug laws, these upstate prisons are filled with poor people of color. The drug laws thus work to benefit upstate, rural, mainly white areas and drain resources, funding and political power from poor communities of color (conspiracy or coincidence?!).

Since 1982, New York has opened 38 prisons, not counting annexes, all in rural, mainly white areas, all represented by Republican State Senators.(conspiracy or coincidence?!).

Ninety-three percent of New York State inmates are housed in prisons located in Republican senate districts(conspiracy or coincidence?!).

The prison system employs almost 30,000 people to operate the prisons located in Republican senate districts(conspiracy or coincidence?!).

Prisons in Republican senate districts receive more than $1.1 billion dollars annually to cover their operating expenses(conspiracy or coincidence?!).

Nearly sixty-five percent of New York State prisoners are from New York City---almost all from poor communities of color. However, two-thirds of all prisons are located more than three hours by car from New York City (conspiracy or coincidence?!).

The United States Census Bureau records inmates as residents of the district where the prison that confines them is located, not as residents of the community they come from, where their families still reside. Hmm....

New York has transferred thousands of people from its inner cities to upstate areas and, along with them, the government funding and electoral influence that are based on district population. Moreover, inmates and parolees cannot vote (conspiracy or coincidence?!).
Republican districts have been trickled down on for so long, they need jobs. Drug laws provide prisoners. Prisons provide jobs. Jobs provide votes. Votes make Republicans blow their pants.

Conspiracy or Coincidence?

My Resources:

Drop the Rock.

New York State Prison Locations.

The Drug Policy Alliance.

Google of course.

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