Opinion – ‘Lock them up:’ My double standard in responding to the crack crisis vs. the opioid epidemic – The Washington Post


Here's an unusual article that's a recommended read. The author recalls his first-hand experiences as a pastor in a multcultural community. He reflects, 'As I look back at my own calls for harsher sentencing legislation, I can only confess that I was complicit in doing the wrong thing'.

Source: ‘Lock them up:’ My double standard in responding to the crack crisis vs. the opioid epidemic – The Washington Post

This article is important in comparing the ‘crack epidemic‘ of the eighties to current ‘opioid epedemic’. The pastor sums it up in his words:

So what I am struck by now is how my perspective has changed. Sure, I’m a few decades older and have learned some things, but it’s worth noting what crack meant to us. It meant black street crime.

Today, what the opioid epidemic means for many of us: Whites need treatment.

Perhaps, there are still two standards in the US, one for blacks and another for whites? Given that Pew Research has recently cited 50% of US families have been impacted by the opioid crisis, there’s now a political incentive for politicians to be seen to be engaged helping encouraging more funding for treatment and prevention.

But there’s another factor, overprescription of opioids to older Americans looks to be peaking. But the ugly part of the opioid crisis is the massive explosion of illegal opiods by criminals – prices are tumbling and greater volumes are entering the marketing targeted at younger users.

Surely the criminal aspects of the ‘crack epedemic’ are not so dissimilar from the crimal aspects of the ‘opioid epedemic’? So are the media and political classes now softer on crime?

Thoughts?

 

People who think punitive measures help drug addicts haven’t seen what I have | Alex Wodak | Opinion | The Guardian

Here’s an excellent op-ed on the politics of drug addiction, by Alex Wodak, published in the Guardian. The author, Dr Alex Wodak is president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and he argues had the Australian government consulted experts before unveiling their plan to drug test welfare recipients, they would have been advised to drop it, pronto.

Source: People who think punitive measures help drug addicts haven’t seen what I have | Alex Wodak | Opinion | The Guardian

This article brings into stark contrast conservative and liberal politics related to drug addiction. Both sides have their arguments and experts.

Conservative, tax-paying voters in many Western countries are tired of paying into welfare schemes that support the scroungers and cheats of the welfare system. People who take drugs regularly or who are addicted to alcohol are not properly motivated to get a job and pay their way in society.

Let me ask an open question:

Should governments in the US, the UK and Canada follow Australia’s example and drug test welfare recipients?

Thoughts?