Why Do I Have to Meet You on a Golf Course?

Legislators in some states are rethinking "drug-free school zones," where people arrested for drug offenses get extra-long sentences. Ostensibly aimed at protecting children, the zones cover most or all of the territory in many cities, typically are applied to drug dealing that involves only adults, and further skew the disproportionate racial impact of the war on drugs.

In New Haven, A.P. reports, "Yale University's golf course [is] the only large part of the city not encompassed in one of the overlapping zones." A December report from New Jersey's sentencing review commission "found that students were involved in only 2 percent of the cases it examined. It said drug-free zones around schools, parks and housing projects cover virtually all of some cities, and 96 percent of offenders jailed for zone violations were black or Hispanic." Minorities, who are especially likely to be arrested for drug dealing to begin with, are even more apt to be hit with enhanced sentences because drug-free zones cover a larger percentage of the territory in high-density urban neigborhoods than they do in the suburbs.

A new Justice Policy Institute report reaches similar conclusions. In response to such criticisms, legislators in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington state are considering bills that would narrow the drug-free zones, which typically cover locations within 1,000 feet of schools.

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  • ||

    You're not thinking about this the correct way, Jacob. These laws aren't discriminatory against minorities, they're encouraging racial integration at such famously white bastions as country clubs and golf courses!

  • ||

    joe favors high density zoning.

    High density zoning means that these laws fall more heavily on minorities.

    And now I'll hit the trifecta of non-sequitors by concluding that joe is racist!

    :)

  • ||

    The New Jersey Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing and Families Against Mandatory Minimums have shown that billion dollar a year corrections budget in NJ has accomplished nothing in so far as public saftey is concerned. On top of that, disiplinary records of Corrections Department employees show that some ten percent of them have been disiplined, fired, or charged with crimes themselves - involving everything from gang activity to weapons trafficing (see today's NJ Star Ledger).

    The Drug War (as with any "war" that is not really a war nor should be considered one) is not just an abject failure. It is a moral and ethical drag on the nation. The corrections industry has become just the sort of entrenched government institutional interest that libertarians should loathe. Liberals should be appalled at the obvious and overt racial implications and conservatives should be screaming about the cost/benefit ratio.

    There should be no division between any of us. It's time to put the fear away - the fear that politicians always turn to for our votes - and realize that we are only cannibalizing ourselves with the crooked and unjust, draconian drug laws that are ruining the lives of our citizens, draining the national coffers, and doing nothing to curb drug use.

    JMJ

  • ||

    The New Jersey Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing and Families Against Mandatory Minimums have shown that billion dollar a year corrections budget in NJ has accomplished nothing in so far as public saftey is concerned. On top of that, disiplinary records of Corrections Department employees show that some ten percent of them have been disiplined, fired, or charged with crimes themselves - involving everything from gang activity to weapons trafficing (see today's NJ Star Ledger).

    The Drug War (as with any "war" that is not really a war nor should be considered one) is not just an abject failure. It is a moral and ethical drag on the nation. The corrections industry has become just the sort of entrenched government institutional interest that libertarians should loathe. Liberals should be appalled at the obvious and overt racial implications and conservatives should be screaming about the cost/benefit ratio.

    There should be no division between any of us. It's time to put the fear away - the fear that politicians always turn to for our votes - and realize that we are only cannibalizing ourselves with the crooked and unjust, draconian drug laws that are ruining the lives of our citizens, draining the national coffers, and doing nothing to curb drug use.

    JMJ

  • ||

    The New Jersey Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing and Families Against Mandatory Minimums have shown that billion dollar a year corrections budget in NJ has accomplished nothing in so far as public saftey is concerned. On top of that, disiplinary records of Corrections Department employees show that some ten percent of them have been disiplined, fired, or charged with crimes themselves - involving everything from gang activity to weapons trafficing (see today's NJ Star Ledger).

    The Drug War (as with any "war" that is not really a war nor should be considered one) is not just an abject failure. It is a moral and ethical drag on the nation. The corrections industry has become just the sort of entrenched government institutional interest that libertarians should loathe. Liberals should be appalled at the obvious and overt racial implications and conservatives should be screaming about the cost/benefit ratio.

    There should be no division between any of us. It's time to put the fear away - the fear that politicians always turn to for our votes - and realize that we are only cannibalizing ourselves with the crooked and unjust, draconian drug laws that are ruining the lives of our citizens, draining the national coffers, and doing nothing to curb drug use.

    JMJ

  • ||

    It's time to put the fear away - the fear that politicians always turn to for our votes

    Fear has become the ultimate tool of this government.

  • ||

    There should be no division between any of us. It's time to put the fear away - the fear that politicians always turn to for our votes - and realize that we are only cannibalizing ourselves with the crooked and unjust, draconian drug laws that are ruining the lives of our citizens, draining the national coffers, and doing nothing to curb drug use.

    Y'know, JMJ, you and I disagree on many things, but wow, that's a great statement right there. Bravo.

  • ||

    Fear has become the ultimate tool of this government.

    Only because Americans are so easily frightened

  • ||

    thoreau,

    I also favor the existence of schools within poor, minority neighborhoods. Which makes me a double racist.

  • ||

    you can get arrested in England for saying non-Christian are going to hell, or be jailed in Canada for publishing references to bible verses that are "anti-homosexual"

    Comment by: RexRhino at March 23, 2006 01:17 PM

    cite reference, please

  • Jeff P.||

    Wearing plaid golf pants within 1000 ft of a school should be a felony.

  • ||

    A December report from New Jersey's sentencing review commission "found that students were involved in only 2 percent of the cases it examined. It said drug-free zones around schools, parks and housing projects cover virtually all of some cities...

    No kidding. A friend of mine compiled the official map of the DFSZ's in our city (Lancaster, PA). There are only a handful of blocks in the entire city that are not located within DFSZ's.

  • ||

    Rex, I think perhaps you could restate your notion here as 'criminal laws for victimless crimes are bron of fear.' Government to, say, pave a road, build a school, etc, is not born of fear.

    JMJ

  • ||

    FWIW, an area with a 1,000 ft radius is approximately 72 acres.

  • ||

    Chicago Tom,
    "Fear has become the ultimate tool of this government."

    "Only because Americans are so easily frightened"

    But only by "scare quotes"...

  • ||

    Minor thread jack:

    Am I right in recalling that there is a Federal law about weapons within 1000' feet of a school?

  • ||

    There should be no division between any of us. It's time to put the fear away -

    Spoken like someone who has never been to a prison. Drug laws aside there are plenty of people with whom we need to have a big division between us and them. Of course those people do a lot more than traffic in durgs, but I think it is a bit much to say that there should be no divisions between us.

  • ||

    John,

    I've been in jail. I've sat in cell blocks with murderers and rapists. I was not one of them. Fortunately, I get along well with people.

    There is no difference, John. You just don't know enough people to know that. I've known killers that you'd think were pacifists and rapists that you'd let babysit your kids, if you didn't know any better.

    I know you think you're better than those other people, John. But you're not.

    JMJ

  • ||

    Never mind the thread jack, I found the answer.

  • ||

    FWIW, an area with a 1,000 ft radius is approximately 72 acres.

    Aaaah, but this isn't just a simple radiused circle. It is an area extending an additional 1000 feet from the school's boundary (or in some localities from the "drive slow" school zone). So if a school yard has a 2000 foot side (small I know), you are talking a circle with a 4000 foot diameter. That is almost a mile which in any urban area is a heck of a lot of space through which people walk, drive and perform day to day business.

  • ||

    Isn't this pretty much an admission that the whole concept is bogus? I mean, if it's "worth" it to keep drugs 1000 feet away from schools anywhere, then just do it--why should the inner city get a pass?

  • ||

    In Texas, those zones apply to schools, playgrounds of any kind, churches (which usually have some sort of daycare/play area), etc. An ex-cop I know says they used to always set up their undercover drug buys at a McDonalds-- it didn't seem suspicious to the suspects, but there was always a playground there. And therefore, a double fucking for the arrestee. Funny stuff our law enforcement folks come up with.

  • ||

    Fear has become the ultimate tool of this government.

    Mencken's "Hobgoblins" are nothing new.

    you can get arrested in England for saying non-Christian are going to hell,
    I recall reading about that, but, IIRC, he said Muslims were going to Hell and it was in Scotland.

    or be jailed in Canada for publishing references to bible verses that are "anti-homosexual"
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34639
    "As WorldNetDaily reported, a Saskatchewan man was fined for submitting a newspaper ad with citations of four Bible verses that address homosexuality.

    Under the provincial Human Rights Code, Hugh Owens of Regina, Saskatchewan, was found guilty along with the newspaper, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, of inciting hatred and was forced to pay damages to each of the three homosexual men who filed the complaint.

    Humble suggestion: "School-Free Drug Zones."

  • ||

    Jeff,

    They don't seriously consider a McDonalds playground a real playground? I don't think I've ever seen a child in one of those things.

    Mr. F.,

    Somehow I doubt whatever sovereignty the UK grants to Scotland allows them to get away without any hate-crime legislation...

  • SteveInClearwater||

    My colleagues at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition www.leap.cc/tbay tell me that it's routine for undercover narcs working the "high school" circuit to first cultivate the needed relationships with teen drug users (read - show em your 23 year old tits and ask them to score you some pot) and then to arrange the minor delivery (1/4 oz or less) for on school property so they can levy both state and federal muscle on the kids, thus alleviating any chance they might actually try and defend themselves in court.

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