John Oliver On Drug Raids: Why Are We Raiding Houses For Drug Quantities That Could Be Easily Flushed Down A Toilet?

from the law-enforcement-vastly-overestimating-toilet-capacity dept

John Oliver has demolished many institutions in his time (not literally, unfortunately, in most cases) as the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight. It's rare when a mainstream program chooses to address more esoteric matters often discussed at this website. But Oliver does it more than most and, for that, we truly appreciate him.

His episode from last week dealt with drug raids. Our nation's drug warriors have decided any suspicion of non-violent crime should be met with an uber-violent response, possibly because they've watched just as many Hollywood movies as we have.

When it comes to drugs and drug warrants, it's all hands on deck. Sometimes, law enforcement agencies are able to obtain no-knock warrants, which allow them to enter a residence without announcing their presence in order to "preserve evidence" and limit the possibility of a violent response.

Let's handle the second thing first. There's a lot of evidence that suggests no-knock raids increase the possibility of a violent response because the first assumption a drug dealer might make is that a rival drug dealer/gang is raiding their house to end their lives, take their drugs, and grab a bit more profitable turf. Cops get killed. People get killed.

Now, let's talk about the possibility of evidence being destroyed. We're talking about large amounts of drugs, paraphernalia, and weapons. As John Oliver points out, this is bullshit. Cops are raiding homes without announcing themselves to secure extremely minute amounts of evidence. And that's according to their own justifications:

Yeah, the ruling there was giving you 20 seconds to answer your door is reasonable because you might flush evidence down the toilet, which raises the obvious question here: why the f*ck are we raiding people's homes for an amount of evidence that can be flushed down a toilet?

As someone who has had to unclog toilets multiple times over my 46 years of living (but mostly over my 30 years of being a parent) (I had my first child at 30), the amount of anything it takes to clog a toilet is far less than any amount of anything that would seem to justify a guns-out raid of a premises. And considering the catch-all charge for most raids -- especially when no one can find the drugs officers thought they'd find -- is illegal possession of a weapon by a felon, there's absolutely zero chance anyone's going to be able to flush a gun down a toilet. That's just impossible.

Surrounding a house and providing residents a chance to answer -- rather than destroying doors, windows, nearby toddlers… -- is going to keep most evidence intact. A toilet can only do so much. A surrounded residence will prevent suspects and evidence from being ejected into neighboring yards. Everything else will still remain in place, especially when suspects realize Hollywood has been lying to them about the flushability of large quantities of drugs.

In any event, treating every standard drug warrant service as paramilitary assault on a violent enemy results in -- you guessed it -- violence. People are killed and wounded. Officers are killed and wounded. And this happens whether or not cops hit the right address. In far too many cases, they don't. That's something we won't put up with from the USPS, Amazon, or anyone else we entrust to get our address correct. When cops don't, officials just respond with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This should be a tragedy and result in a few firings. Instead, it's just the cost of the Drug War -- paid by people who weren't even combatants.

The police hitting the wrong address is completely unacceptable when the stakes are so high. Even Edible Arrangements manages to deliver to the correct address!

When the stakes are life and death, mere competence shouldn't be considered an unreasonable bar for officers to reach. It should be the minimum we expect of them. But it isn't. And cops continue to get more violent despite the Drug War being a multi-decade failure and their escalating efforts having resulted in little more than a long, uninterrupted string of rights violations and deaths. This is unacceptable. And yet, it is not only considered acceptable, but valorous. Hopefully, John Oliver's reach will make more people aware of the injustices carried out with their implicit blessing and prompt further meaningful change in drug policies and law enforcement agencies.

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Filed Under: drug raids, john oliver, no knock warrants, police, police brutality


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 9:36am

    Unfortunately, this will continue until:

    1. Biden decides to end the drug war. (More likely)
      Or
    2. Biden get raided by police believing he has a illegal drug. (Highly unlikely)

    That being said though, I love John Oliver, so...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 9:47am

    Borrowing part of a quote from Karls story because it fits...

    "That's more common than I realized."

    Its a very human thing, and its really kinda sad.
    Humans assume that drug raids only happen on houses like Tony Montanas, not Breonna Taylor.
    Humans assume Judges need more than 1 cop seeing a couple Amazon boxes delivered to a location to get a warrant.
    Humans assume bad people have super toilets capable of flushing a kilo in 1 minute as they grumble about the 4th flush on their low flow toilet almost getting the paper gone.
    Humans assume that cops are protecting us... yes there are many who still think this even as they watch the gasoline covered suicidal man being turned into a bonfire with a taser.

    Humans assume they know true things, humans assume there is a system to make sure its fair, humans assume everything is fine b/c its not gotten them....
    Humans are idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      And yet, this will continue with no end in sight.

      Sad but true.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:53am

      Re:

      I used to think that the majority of people in the US were not fucking stupid ... I have since revised my opinions on this matter.

      Benefit of the doubt has been overused, default is now stupid.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 4:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Well its taken decades for society to reach this pinnacle of stupid.

        Addicts just lack willpower to stop.
        Sick people need to not be lazy.
        Poor people just need to work hard.

        Everyone has the same opportunities after-all, it says so in print all men are created equal.

        Far to often humans use their life as the lens to view others.

        Well oxy didn't destroy my town, so they were just weak willed.

        • As someone who lives with chronic pain, I'd LOVE to hit you with a baseball bat when you say that. We were promised a non-addictive pain killer, what we got was screwed in the name of profits & the government helped them do it. Pain management was horrible, then they decided pain maybe WAS real for some of us. Now we are back to the option is the legal pain killers, which if taken as needed contain an unneeded additive to destroy our kidneys & cause GI bleeds so people don't abuse them. Consider for a moment that they didn't start shooting heroin because it was cool/trendy but because the system failed them so horribly that they went & found something that could let them live without pain.

        My child just studied hard & did really well in school, you're kid just screwed around to much.

        • Did you have afterschool programs at your school? Did your child ever arrive hungry, not get lunch, & well they might have dinner? Did your kids school have heat/cooling/running water? Did your kids have under 45 kids in a classroom? Even the brightest children can hit a point where they know anything they do will not matter, they are screwed & why try harder when everyones already decided what your story will be? Unless you are a talented athlete you will stay in the shitty school until they broom you out the door. There aren't any high expectations, because even little kids learn that Lucy will always pull the football away after promising not to, so why bother trying to kick?

        Well immigrants are stealing jobs from hard working americans!!

        • Yep has nothing to do with companies cutting costs & replacing you with machines. There are people who believe coal miners would be able to have heydays again once those damn green energy hippies are run out of office, lets ignore the history of corporations who let them die to save a few cents & that workers have been replaced with machines that do the work cheaper/longer/faster... but these people still think somehow time will warp & corporations will take them back over machines that cost way less.

        We need to admit not everyone starts at the same place & it truly is human nature to shove others down to feel better about ourselves. Paul Ryan who talked about how people needed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps... he benefited from a government program to get to where he is... and he made sure he ended that program while claiming people could still make it to where he was.

        Humans... y'all are sad.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 6:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So? At least we're aware of it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 8:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            stares

            Self awareness isn't a strong human trait.
            There are lots of people, many of them elected into office, who are blissfully unaware of these things unless they can twist it into an issue to maintain power by exploiting fear... and people keep falling for it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              cattress (profile), 10 Mar 2021 @ 1:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Not blissfully unaware, stubbornly refusing awareness. A lot of people think the concept of white privilege is a personal attack, and acknowledging that they likely benefitted from it is the equivalent of saying they didn't work hard for their accomplishments, that they never experienced hardship, or they knowingly used their shared whiteness to take an opportunity that they didn't deserve from a black person. And so they purposely shut down what they think they don't want to hear, when it's really not what they think it is.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Mar 2021 @ 8:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "So? At least we're aware of it."

            Really?

            Because from where I'm sitting I just watched a third of the US citizenry demonstrate they weren't, compounded even today by the GOP bullhorns all ignoring half a million dead americans in favor of trying to make the decisions of a publishing house to pull half a dozen books with racist content off their shelves a sinister plot by the satanist liberal child-trafficking conspiracy helmed by the Kenyan Muslim and his cadre of Lizard People.

            The only humans aware of the fumes of the septic tank they're in tend to be the ones not significantly contributing to the rising sewage level. And for the US, at least, that's what, just about half of them?

            There's just no shaking this monument of stupidity off with a "meh" and a headshake. Not when the sheer dumbassery has already propelled thousands of legally accountable adults into armed insurrection over a pack of lies most pre-teens could see through.

            And, frankly speaking, being aware and just going "So?" doesn't mean you're an edgy keen-eyed cynic. It means you're part of the problem.

            I'd argue that the only reason the US is in such a sad state today is because too damn many just looked at the clown carnival arriving in politics and decided to do...nothing. Just shook their heads and go "So? That's somehow my problem?". To which the answer is that yes, it has now become so.

            US liberals and the uninvolved have failed to realize, for over a century, that meeting rapacious politicians, racists, bigots and con men with either a turned cheek or a "Who cares what they do unto other people than me?" only means that at some point down the road it'll be their own necks on the block.

            Good thing you're aware of it, though. Are you also aware that the shit described by That Anonymous Coward above is, among the G20, a US-exclusive issue? No other nation is that far gone. Literally Only In America.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 9 Mar 2021 @ 8:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Lyndon B. Johnson once said, "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John85851 (profile), 11 Mar 2021 @ 8:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "My child just studied hard & did really well in school, you're kid just screwed around to much."

          I don't know if you're using bad grammar to make a point, but that sentence should be:
          "My child just studied hard & did really well in school, YOUR kid just screwed around TOO much."
          Though I suspect it's an ironic use of bad grammar since people who say "your kid screwed around" would probably be the same ones who use bad grammar.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 9:58am

    there's absolutely zero chance anyone's going to be able to flush a gun down a toilet. That's just impossible.

    Clearly, you have been using an inferior plumbing system. A good toilet should be able to flush not just drugs and guns, but even partially dismembered bodies - and it should do it with only one flush. This of course rules out use of low-flow toilets, but those were always trouble even for more traditional things to flush.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      Even a high flush toilet will not be capable of flushing anything bigger than a derringer. Try putting that Desert Eagle or Red Hawk in your toilet - LOL

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PeterScott (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 10:36am

    Safer evidence preserving suggestion.

    Find external water valve, shut off the water, then knock and announce warrant.

    At most, they get one flush...

    No one should be raided for one flush worth of drugs. At most that makes you a user, not a dealer.

    The "war" on drugs, is just another example of how FUBAR the USA is. I have to wonder if anyone in the rest of world looks at them as an example of anything positive. USA only get recognition because of wealth creation for a tiny privilege few, and perhaps fear of it's military, but as far as treatment of it's average citizens, and worse yet, it's most vulnerable, it lags the entire 1st world IMO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:02am

      Re: Safer evidence preserving suggestion.

      As someone who lives here, you are not wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:01pm

      Re: Safer evidence preserving suggestion.

      As if they have a warrant, last I heard the cops can get those after the fact.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re: Safer evidence preserving suggestion.

        They can also bring their own drugs to ensure an arrest. It happens. Sometimes they even make the mistake of talking about it in range of their dash cameras.

        Of course, they don't always come prepared, so sometimes they have to seize Okra, mint, oregano, and other garden herbs on suspicion of being marijuana. Sometimes, even Ragweed will do.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          MightyMetricBatman, 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Safer evidence preserving suggestion.

          Do not forget terrible "forensic" field tests for meth that return a positive result on common items as sugar and baking soda.

          Probable cause standard has become "the because I said so by a police officer" standard.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Safer evidence preserving suggestion.

          Hahaha, yeah - cops also thought tomatoes were weed, it's not even close.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 10:42am

    A Fair Question

    Why Are We Raiding Houses For Drug Quantities That Could Be Easily Flushed Down A Toilet?

    Nowadays, dealers are using a combination of Trap Houses and Stash Houses. A location from where drugs are dealt is somewhat at risk for the dealer, in that often times the clientele aren't the most upstanding citizens. Consequently, the property is at risk for burglarization. So most of the drugs and money aren't stored there. Instead, they're kept at another location where substances are never sold, thus keeping most of the valuables safe.

    Also, if police raid one house, and a dealer splits his time amongst 3 trap houses and one stash house, and he moves around, he now only has a 25% chance of being taken down in the drug raid. Not to mention that he might not get caught directly possessing all of the drugs and cash all at the same place. There's a good chance that he might just take the money and run.

    To counter this strategy, the modern police tactic is to organize drug raids at multiple locations associated with a dealer, simultaneously. From the police standpoint, they don't know which one is the trap house, and which one is the stash house until after they complete the search.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:03pm

      Re: A Fair Question

      You did not answer the question.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:18pm

        Re: Re: A Fair Question

        The police cannot distinguish a trap house from a safe house from the outside. Instead, they are getting warrants for a bunch of houses to which a dealer has been traced. It might be a home belonging to his brother, with a brick of cocaine and $20k cash in the basement. Or it might be an apartment where he was hanging out several nights a week, inviting friends over to watch sports together while he deals to anyone who visits. Or it might be the condo of a family friend who he visits regularly, and no drug dealing is involved. When the dealer is gone, the occupants are a married couple with two young kids.

        The police don't know until after they kick in the door, whether it's the stash house, or an acquaintance in posession of a small personal quantity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: A Fair Question

          The train of thought you seem to have missed is the one where the cops do not need to go after petty drug offenses.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Mar 2021 @ 8:56am

          Re: Re: Re: A Fair Question

          "Instead, they are getting warrants for a bunch of houses to which a dealer has been traced."

          So your answer, as response to the question on whether the US war on drugs is disproportionate and on the balance, harmful, is to double down on the lunacy by insisting that the police need to engage in multiple raids, potentiating the risk of death to either police or innocents by a multiple, rather than nab a sufficiently large dealer with the help of quiet footwork, a warrant, a stakeout and an endoscope?

          "The police don't know until after they kick in the door, whether it's the stash house, or an acquaintance in posession of a small personal quantity."

          They shouldn't kick in the door in the first place unless they knew there was an actual emergency. Nine times out of ten they can nab the dealer with no fuss at the point of distribution or work a few extra days scoping the place with IR camera and targeted surveillance to make sure they found the right house.

          Instead, lo and behold, you stand in shining defense of the dumbest brute-force methods already established to create the largest death toll among both innocents and law enforcement.

          Seriously, Koby, this seems to be another "section 230" moment for you, where you similarly choose to confirm the clown pulling a bucket-and-ladder act in a police uniform rather than opt for questioning why that clown merits a badge in the first place.

          No other nation in the world is dumb enough to go down the US road and it certainly isn't because no other nation in the world has a scarcity of similar issues. Conspicuously it's only the US which manages to turn what ought to be a poorly scaled minor felony into an active low-intensity war between law enforcement and the constitutional rights of the citizenry.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2021 @ 9:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A Fair Question

            an active low-intensity war between law enforcement and the constitutional rights of the citizenry.

            Some have been saying it since the 1970's: It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on your rights.

            Our rights have been losing this war.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 10:59am

    Stopped half way through reading to go -- wait, you were a parent at 16??? Either you are rounding digits or wow, you started parenting young.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      Maybe he considered he only truly started living when he discovered cars/alcohol/girls/boys/small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri/drugs/god/"the true path"/untold wealth ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tim Cushing (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 3:26pm

      Re:

      Good catch. I had my first kid at age 30 and apparently decided that's how you add up the years you've been a parent. An edit has been made.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2021 @ 6:16am

        Re: Re:

        Sleep deprivation from having kids will do that to you... for years and years.

        • also a parent

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Mar 2021 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re:

        "I had my first kid at age 30 and apparently decided that's how you add up the years you've been a parent."

        The onset of early middle age does have a strange effect on how you calculate numbers in general.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:10am

    And while police are busy chasing junkies ...

    ... and the FBI sits around brainstorming ideas to nudge legislators into requiring encryption backdoors, mobs of domestic terrorists are free to storm into the very heart of our democracy.

    Large uninhibited by law enforcement, who are busy elsewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Uh, what am I doing here?, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:50am

    WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

    Yet again, as ever, Techdirt sneaks out the loony libertarian position of weakening drug enforcement.

    All the evidence and your own observation should indicate the opposite -- but of course your own drug use no doubt reduces your powers of observation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Uh, what am I doing here?, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:51am

      Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

      The only reasonable position now, after decades of experience, is that drug users knowingly take the risks, and that if drug use is not opposed firmly the whole time, it'll be bad for non-drug-users as the sickness spreads. Drug use is a voluntary sickness, relying on well persons to feed and tend them. Drug users will never help even maintain, only ruin what's been so painfully achieved.

      So I'm entirely for the present policing practices -- or more. Civilization is definitely now on the brink of collapse, and you still keep dragging it the wrong way.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:09pm

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        "So I'm entirely for the present policing practices -- or more. "

        You clearly lack an understanding of the topic upon which you commented. It's either that or you are such a turd that you enjoy the suffering of those least able to defend themselves.

        If civilization is to collapse, it is due to people like yourself.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:22pm

        People with “personal use” amounts of drugs in their possession have died at the hands of the police for no reason other than “they had drugs, yo”. What “more” could you possibly want from the current heavy-handed, overly violent, “this is a legal problem instead of a societal problem” approach to the so-called War on Drugs?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bluegrass Geek (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:30pm

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        You people have been crying that civilization is on the brink of collapse since the 1950s. Communism, civil rights, drugs, whatever, you've always got something to claim is "ruining" things and demand the most violent response possible.

        You're sick. Learn some empathy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        Drug use is a voluntary sickness, relying on well persons to feed and tend them.

        Damn right! So put those fuckers in jail where they'll feed and tend to themselves...oh, wait...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 4:23pm

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        "Drug use is a voluntary sickness"

        Diabetics around the world would like a word.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:02pm

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        You still haven't answered the only question that's ever been important in your long career of cosplaying a mental patient here:

        Is your behaviour because you take too many drugs, or not enough?

        Maybe this is a clue - you refuse to take your meds and we have to suffer your manic periods when you have another episode.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Mar 2021 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        "The only reasonable position now, after decades of experience, is that drug users knowingly take the risks, and that if drug use is not opposed firmly the whole time, it'll be bad for non-drug-users as the sickness spreads."

        Funny how no other nation in the world, despite having the same drug issues, has experienced any of that bullshit, despite being by far more liberal.

        Tell me again, Baghdad Bob, why the US alone is utterly incapable of applying the solutions the rest of the G20 has succeeded with?

        I'm sorry your perception of your nation is that low.

        "Civilization is definitely now on the brink of collapse, and you still keep dragging it the wrong way."

        You know, when you've got half a million dead citizens laying at the doorstep of your failed policies and all you've got left is to complain the US police are too light-handed and a publishing house removing half a dozen books from the shelves is "the end of the world"...that should be a sign for you to sit the fuck down and start re-thinking the broken logic which put you at that point.

        The US is a fucking failed state by now, all thanks to you guys.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:55am

      Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

      Why don't you try making your own tech news site?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 3:33pm

      Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

      "All the evidence and your own observation should indicate the opposite..."

      Unfortunately for your argument, what "all the evidence and [our] own observation" actually indicates that the so-called War On Drugs' causes far, far more harm, than the drugs themselves do.

      The aforesaid evidence and observation also powerfully demonstrate that freely offered medical assistance, non-judgmental counselling, and similar measures are also far more effective in reducing and preventing substance abuse -- and harm -- than all the heavy-handed, heavily-armed law enforcement measures have ever managed to achieve.

      For a thoroughly traditional example, the strong arm of the law didn't manage to stem alcohol abuse, and Prohibition did nothing but provide greater profits and increase the power and influence of organized crime -- while probably increasing both alcohol consumption and full-blown alcoholism (hint: alcohol is a drug, and 'alcoholic' is just another word for 'alcohol addict').

      We supposedly learned from that experience: We don't arrest people who drink for merely 'possessing' or 'using' alcohol. We figured out, decades ago, that such measures not only don't work, but indeed only exacerbate every aspect of the problem. Anyone who proposed returning to that approach would be laughed out of the premises.

      So we're smarter about how we handle alcohol use, and abuse, today, by using proven approaches such regulating (even taxing) the actual supply, implementing employer-supported treatment programs, supporting community organizations that help addicts, etc. This is the approach that evidence and observation shows to actually work.

      What we don't do is to try to deal with the scourge of alcohol abuse and addiction by sending trigger-happy paramilitary police units to conduct "no-knock" armed assaults on breweries, distilleries, liquor stores, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol -- and it takes a truly remarkable sort of astoundingly stubborn and wilful blindness, to seriously suggest that such 'War On Drugs' approaches are the obvious "evidence and observation" based way to deal effectively with substance abuse and addiction of any other sort.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 5:11am

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        Not only that, but we're figuring out the exact same thing on Marijuana that we learned long ago on Alcohol.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2021 @ 11:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

          figuring out the exact same thing on Marijuana

          Oh the joys of living in a rec legal state!!!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Ninja, 10 Mar 2021 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re: WHY? Because drugs destroy lives.

        It's kind of amusing to see people like our bright mind friend above. I say kind of because the result of that mindset is the shithole we are in today.

        I use marijuana regularly. Sometimes to deal with pain or inflammation and sometimes purely to get stoned and have a good time. I have plenty of friends who use as well. All of them have at least an academic degree and some other title (master, doctorate etc). I myself have multiple degrees related to engineering (chemistry, hydraulics..) and specialized in industrial administration. Since it's illegal here we have a guy who grows the thing and we help him with costs not to feed drug dealers. I know this is my personal view but we all know that this scenario is far far more common than law enforcement would like to admit. And when it's white rich people they simply won't enforce the law even with much more problematic drugs.

        Not to mention the obvious medicinal uses, the textile awesomeness of the fiber and other benefits.

        The thing is, I'm not saying everyone should use and there are addiction issues but... What harm is there? How marijuana use is worse than artificially maintaining drug trafficking chains with all the associated violence? How is it worse than police brutality against whatever quantity a person is carrying? How the fuck is it worse than ALCOHOL?

        It takes small amounts of critical thinking to realize that at the very least the current way of dealing with drugs perhaps isn't the smartest one.

        Then you have conservatives.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:00pm

    "The uploader has not made this video available in your country."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PeterScott (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      I really don't get the YT region blocking thing. All that accomplishes is making me look for an "alternate" source. I ended up watching this weeks episode all about the Unemployment benefit (lack of) debacle in the USA. Just another horrendous (and mainly Republican) mess of policies making life worse for the most vulnerable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 11:06pm

        Re: Re:

        "I really don't get the YT region blocking thing."

        Usually, it's because international distribution deals still depend on parcelling up the world into smaller regions then selling rights to companies who have full rights to revenue in that region.

        It's pretty backward in this day and age, and has led to a major problem with fragmentation and lack of distribution in some parts of the world that only encourages piracy and reduces the overall value of the original work, but that's how it's done for the moment.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 5:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In addition, there are some works that are public domain in one country but copyrighted in another. For instance, A.A. Milne's When We Were Very Young has been in the US public domain since last year but has been copyrighted around the world outside of the US because A.A. Milne died in 1956 and E.H. Shepherd, the illustrator, died in 1979, so assuming copyright won't be retroactively extended, it won't enter the public domain until 2050 in countries where copyright terms are the life of the author plus seventy years.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:18pm

    I would love

    to see them SMash in doors to a person taking Crack.
    That makes More then $100,000 per year.
    Lives in a home thats worth over $1 million.
    Where the front door is over 50' away from the road.

    In the past MANY years, has there been more then a FEW, REAL LIFE drug dealers captured? Compared to the number of doors/windows Broken, and Fires started and KIDS with guns in faces?
    When they DO find a real drug dealer, they have it in every news paper.
    If theyt catch a shipment(even a fake one) with TONS of Drugs, its in the news for a week.

    But, tons of what? those numbers are Dropping as MJ is being legalized. And a Kilo of Crack/crank/coke/snow/blow and just about anything else, is a Good amount, for the cops. Not counting drugs that Can be made in the USA, in a basement, in a car, where ever.
    And if you dont know how easy it is to find the dealers, you really arnt living the Common life most of us live.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 1:19pm

    As someone who has had to unclog toilets multiple times over my 46 years of living (but mostly over my 30 years of being a parent), the amount of anything it takes to clog a toilet is far less than any amount of anything that would seem to justify a guns-out raid of a premises.

    I somewhat disagree with that. If they're looking for a small amount of Novichok they believe the homeowner murdered someone with, it's a legitimate concern. I think that's happened precisely zero times, but, you know, it's possible. But a small baggie of drugs, the only associated illegality being possesion or distribution, yeah, that's bullshit. Judges need to start being reasonable here, and demanding to know why any specific case should require exceptional measures.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2021 @ 6:50pm

      Re:

      I don't think anyone would argue against a well-planned tactical invasion of a home if there really was a suspicion of a Novichok agent being present.

      Of course, the bloody smarter thing to do in that case would be to conduct a raid when they are pretty sure no one is present at all.

      But we like our grenade-fishing-in-a-barrel approach here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 8:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Really wish more judges would point that out.

        Police: We're requesting a no-knock warrant because of a concern that evidence will be destroyed if we have to announce ourselves while they're at home.

        Judge: Do they ever leave the house?

        Police: ... yes?

        Judge: Problem solved then, wait until they leave, take them into custody and then perform the search. Request denied.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Upstream (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is a point that almost never gets made: These violent raids with flash-bang grenades, battering rams, weapons drawn, and usually in the wee hours are almost never the best way to arrest anyone, whether they are wanted for minor offenses or major, violent crimes.

          It is almost always better to wait until they are walking from the house to the car, from the car to a convenience store, while they are pumping gas, while they are at work, etc, etc. There are plenty of ways for undercover cops to make quick, effective arrests, with minimal violence and minimal risk of death or injury to anyone.

          The problem is these other methods take planning, effort, and, worst of all, they are not fun! That is the real deal-breaker.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 8:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Those raids aren’t for arrests, they’re for cops to feel like real men because they’re finally allowed to use all the cool toys they’ve been looking at. There’d be a lot less time and lives wasted if it were about effectiveness.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 2:09pm

    'We must protect their lives by ending those lives!'

    Makes sense really, I mean everyone knows drugs can ruin lives or even result in people dying, so clearly the proper response is to make use of tactics that can ruin lives and result in people dying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 1:29am

    This is not about actually finding anything.

    This is about there being big business in SWAT raids. A lot of officers are kept busy. A lot of money is made from bullets and flash bangs and breach charges, and the DEA gets to say it's keeping the tigers away with its raids since we don't see any tigers.

    Oh also (a detail that Mr. Oliver did cover) most raids happen in mostly non-white neighborhoods, so as to encourage them to go back to their own country.

    If they actually find something worth a criminal bust, that's sauce. The fact that everyone had a gangbusting day and spent a lot of taxpayer dollars (and terrorized a family) is the point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rocky, 9 Mar 2021 @ 4:24am

    Knock knock

    "Who's there?"

    "Parabellum!" BLAM

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    restless94110 (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 5:51am

    Policing

    It's too bad that Oliver does not follow the lead of his fellow Brit, Jonathan Hari, who full-on 6 years ago wrote "Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs" about drug legalization in Portugal (some 15 years before that) and its myriad benefits to society and to policing in general, and instead chooses to beat the dead horse of "racism," the utterly deluded concept that when black men commit more crime, it's racist to arrest and convict them for it.

    Instead of complaining about the police, how about removing the police entirely from the equation by legalizing all drugs? No more no-knock warrants, poof! No more prison sentences, poof! No more civil sanctions for those once convicted of a drug offense, poof. No more Mexican cartels, poof!

    John? What's wrong with you. Come on, man! -Joe Biden

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 6:44am

      Re: Policing

      "the utterly deluded concept that when black men commit more crime, it's racist to arrest and convict them for it."

      Ooooh... so close, yet you completely miss the point in several different ways.

      If only you were capable of understanding these stories honestly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2021 @ 7:23am

    Appropriate implication

    Cops get killed. People get killed.

    I see what you did there, and I like it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 10:02am

    toilets and flushing

    My street just had our 100yo sewer system updated. One of the things they did was put new wider pipes, and more traps in it (one where the sewer pipes leave the building, and one at the street). You know what might be really easy? sticking a rod down those traps with a "balloon" to block that. If they try and flush anything, it's not going anywhere.

    In the UK I've seen similar, where prior to a raid starting, they'll take the soil pipe (many uk homes are multi-story, and the soil pipe goes down the outside), and divert it into some big bin bags or plastic barrels. If things are needed to be inspected, they can do so at their leisure then, after, because it's not gone anywhere. And if there's no sign of anything have been flushed (no toilet refilling on access) then there's no need to worry about any of it. (I know we shouldn't care about quantities that small, but at the same time, why not remove the ability to claim it as an exigent circumstance?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 11 Mar 2021 @ 8:15am

    Who should be held responsible?

    Who should be held responsible?

    • The judge who issued a non-knock warrant?
    • The police officers who shoot and kill someone while executing the no-knock warrant?
    • The police department that has a no-knock warrant policy in the first place?
    • The DA who doesn't prosecute the officers for killing someone, because it was part of the officer's job?
    • The judge who doesn't take the case because again, the officers were just doing their job?

    So if no one will be held accountable, then why should the police stop doing it, especially since "drug raids" get good coverage on the local news. Even though, like the article said, the "drug raid" is a merely a cover to seize some illegal weapons.
    Where's the media (besides John Oliver) asking why the police need to raid homes with such small amount of drugs in the first place? Ah, but then that would start to peel back the reality that the "drug war" isn't really a "war" like the government thinks it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Mar 2021 @ 12:41pm

      Re: Who should be held responsible?

      Ooooh, you're making those points about why we need to abolish not just the police but the entire justice system.

      Diffusion of responsibility as expressed in a bureaucratic system.

      Also corruption and refusal to acknowledge that suspects are human beings with human rights.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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