Drugs

Police Use Coronavirus To Try To Trick Meth Users Into Getting Themselves Arrested

Irresponsible, ineffective, and dishonest

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Cops around the country have been issuing fake public health warnings about coronavirus and drugs. In Merrill, Wisconsin, for example, the local police department posted an advisory to its Facebook page Wednesday telling meth users that their drugs might be contaminated with coronavirus and that they should contact an officer for testing:

P.S.AWARNING: If you have recently purchased Meth, it may be contaminated with the Corona Virus. Please take it to the …

Posted by Merrill Police Department on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

At a time when public health workers have been trying to spread actual information about a potential pandemic, it isn't especially helpful for the authorities to spread false information about the disease. And no, you can't assume that everyone will pick up that the police post is false. Indeed, local media elsewhere in the country have been known to repeat such warnings as straight news.

These posts also mark an unfortunate contrast with places that are trying to offer real help to drug users. Safe injection sites, for example, not only lead to safer drug use but give participants an opportunity to enroll in drug treatment programs. Unfortunately, many American officials have tried to stop such efforts, preferring the familiar, ineffective, and costly drug war.

One institution still attached to the drug war is the Merrill Police Department, which appears to believe it can arrest its way to recovery. On Thursday, the department tried to justify itself with an update to its Facebook post: "We will take those easy grabs at removing poison from our community whenever we can. That is our role which we un-apologetically must fulfill. It is our hope that an arrest would be the positive catalyst someone may need to start recovery. It is our hope that every drug arrest both works to hold offenders accountable for their deeds and provides them with a path toward treatment options. It is truly heart-warming when we see people succeed in such circumstances. It does happen!"

I assume they're sincere, but they're also fundamentally misguided. There are far more effective and compassionate ways to help addicts than by using a scary disease to try to trick people into an arrest.

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  1. “hold offenders accountable for their deeds”
    How is getting high a deed that in any way requires accountability?

    1. How is getting high a deed that in any way requires accountability?

      Because drug users never advertise getting high as a way avoid or escape accountability for any/all actions.

      Libertarianism is not and should not be a shield for your self-induced retardation.

      1. smh What are you on?

      2. alt: Conservatism is a hell of a drug.

      3. Yes, nanny ma’am.

        1. “Holding/Using drugs shouldn’t be illegal.” – Libertarian argument.

          “People shouldn’t, in any way, be accountable for their actions.” – anti-libertarian argument.

          Which one more resembles IceTrey’s argument?

          1. It’s not actions which you should be accountable for, but consequences.

            What consequences are there for drug use?

            Do you think people should be held accountable for thoughts they never speak, or for speech which you never hear? How about guns which are not used in crimes?

            Which one do you think more clearly resembles your “accountable for your actions” concept?

            1. It’s not actions which you should be accountable for, but consequences.

              “It’s not the dog or the teeth, but the bite mark that you should hold accountable.” You’re torturing logic to defend meth-heads who follow their local PD on Twitter.

              Do you think people should be held accountable for thoughts they never speak, or for speech which you never hear? How about guns which are not used in crimes?

              Unclear on the first, yes on the last two. The alternatives are nonsensical.

              Which one do you think more clearly resembles your “accountable for your actions” concept?

              I’m accountable for my guns which have never been used in a crime. I’m accountable to others for my speech whether you hear it or not.

              Again, you idiots are forfeiting your own as well as fundamental libertarian principles to defend sub-80 IQ meth addicts who follow their local PD on Twitter and would almost certainly sacrifice their principles (if they even held them in the first place) to distance themselves from you were the roles reversed.

              1. Libertarian principles? You seem to be very confused about those.

                The most basic principle is non aggression. If someone uses a mind altering substance on their property, and interacts in no way with anyone else, then they have not (and could not) commit any aggression. However, if you send men with guns to that persons house to arrest them for using substances, then you have just initiated force, and therefor violated the non aggression principle.

                Not to mention, it is on very shaky ground constitutionally that the government even has the right to make substances illegal for personal ingestion.

                1. The most basic principle is non aggression.

                  Accountability =/= arrest =/= aggression. Libertarians may make the claim that arrest = aggression and they may be right, but the idea that accountability = aggression is exceedingly unlibertarian from both angles.

                  1. What, precisely, are you referring to when you say “accountability”?

                    1. The word is in the dictionary. Lots of them. Look it up.

          2. In the context of the quote by MPD? Clearly the first one.

            How is getting high a deed that in any way requires accountability?
            “Holding/Using drugs shouldn’t be illegal.”

            Seriously, I think you’re misreading something here.

      4. So getting high is a way to avoid accountability for getting high?

        1. When you ask a/the heretic questions about a belief system to which they do not subscribe, it really comes across as you questioning your own beliefs.

          I don’t think getting high is a way to avoid accountability for anything. Presumably, your question is yes/no and either you don’t understand or don’t like ‘yes’ as an answer or don’t want to say ‘no’.

      5. You never answered the question: How is getting high something that requires accountability? Your response assumes there is some other action that requires accountability, but absent that what is the accountability for getting high?

        1. Your response assumes there is some other action that requires accountability

          No it doesn’t. I own guns. I’m accountable for them. No other action required. I’m not high, I’m accountable for that. No other action required.

          These idiots (followed their local PD on Twitter and) brought their meth to a police department.

          1. What bullshit logic is this? Your arguments make no sense.

            Are you implying it’s perfectly reasonable to own drugs as long as you never use them? That’s where your own strained logic seems to go. “I’m accountable to my crystal meth because I never get high on it.”

            1. Are you implying it’s perfectly reasonable to own drugs as long as you never use them?

              Legal or not you are responsible for your actions and accountable for your deeds and property. Responsibility and accountability are intimately tied with ownership. To equate accountability more strongly with aggression is to equate ownership with aggression.

              The fact that so many libertarians so readily play willfully retarded to defend a complete lack of principles is really disappointing but not entirely unexpected for Reason.

              1. The only one willfully playing retarded here is you. Everyone else understands accountability is for consequences, not actions or property. You seem to take it personally that no one else has your warped statist sense, and you are being held accountable for the consequences of your stupidity.

        2. I believe all of us are accountable to some entity on some level somewhere in the Universe & beyond for every action, thought, word, suggestion, manifestation, concept, action or deed, etc!

    2. Because only natural highs are morally acceptable. Like the high you get when you deceive immoral drug users into turning themselves in, or the high when you shoot someone’s dog, or when you throw a flashbang into a crib, or when you lie to a judge to get a warrant… But getting high off of chemicals that aren’t approved by a doctor? That’s no different than murder.

    3. >How is getting high a deed that in any way requires accountability?
      Are you accountable for your deeds while drinking or drunk?

      Getting high shouldn’t necessarily be a crime. But it can cross that threshold if you present a danger to others or are unable to care for yourself. Or care for those dependent on you for their care.

    4. I saw this ad and thought that it was humorous gag, like something from the Babylon Bee..

  2. Great way to deepen the mistrust of public health authorities for some useless and failed war on drugs.

    1. +10000

      This is another example why some Americans dont trust vaccines. If the government is trying to take advantage of a Pandemic, then what else wont they take advantage of?

    2. Yup – if there is a widespread coronavirus outbreak in this country, this type of misinformation will only lead people to be suspicious and lead to greater contagion.

      1. Admittedly I’m a pretty callous guy, but the people who, when a breakout occurs and society collapses, look to their local PD for coronavirus diagnoses are, on several levels, kinda getting whatever’s coming to them.

        I’m pretty sure my 6 yr. old would know that CVS would be a better option and my 12 yr. old would absolutely question why the CDC isn’t the lead organization.

        1. So low iq people deserve to be brutalized by police and don’t deserve a trust worthy government?

          1. Weird how I never said the word ‘deserve’ nor explicitly said ‘(s)low IQ’.

            People dependent on the society(‘s government) will be at the whims of the government whether society collapses or not and will likely wind up in worse condition after the collapse.

            Are you here to defend the people who are dependent on the government?

            1. How was I supposed to interpret that from your initial comment? I agree with your comment here, but the one prior seems completely unrelated.

        2. Anyone who acts on an ad that says bring your illegal substances to the police & we will help you deserves to go to jail!

  3. That police department tweet is hilarious.
    And yes, your meth might be contaminated by coronavirus – or are not pretending paNdEMiC!!!! anymore?

    1. Clearly the coronavirus is intended to take down Trump. It is known.

      1. What an odd thing to parrot

    2. When I read the PD tweet, I had to laugh. It’s literally the kind of thing I’d expect cynical cops to do to troll meth-heads.

      And no, I’m not sympathetic to a lot of drug users. Not when I’ve seen some of the ways their children end up suffering due to neglect or their parent’s addictions.

      1. Does the reason really matter? I’m not sympathetic to people who neglect their children for ANY reason. Plenty of non-drug abusers neglect and otherwise abuse their children. Too focused on career/social life, irresponsible, gambling addicts and a million other excuses. Yet, append ‘drug user’ to any example and that makes it 1000x worse to many conservatives.

        Furthermore, if malum in se crime is so low that the best thing the police have to do is troll people online on the taxpayers’ dime, I think it’s time to scrutinize their budget and make some severe cuts.

    3. I think it would be hilarious if the health office would put one out saying that doughnuts could have coronavirus in them and offer to check out one of the things their hooked on!!!!

  4. How about trying something like this:

    “PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY – There have been reports of police officers catching the coronavirus after being abusive toward suspects. If you are a police officer and have abused a suspect, be sure to come by your local federal law-enforcement facility to get tested. Bring a full written and signed account of the incident, so we can assess the health risks.”

    DISCLAIMER: Never in a million years would such a phony warning ever be issued in an attempt to trap abusive cops.

  5. Dumber than being on Twitter? Being on Twitter and following your local PD.

    Dumber than being on Twitter and following your local PD? Being a meth addict on Twitter and following your local PD.

    Dumber than being on Twitter, being a meth addict, and following your local PD? Being on Twitter, a meth addict, following your local PD, and falling for their sub-80 IQ shenanigans.

    Dumber than being on Twitter, being a meth addict, following your local PD, and falling for their sub-80 IQ shenanigans? Reporting on it sympathetically.

    It’s just dumb all the way down.

    1. ^This. It’s stupidity and as much as I despise the deception, I do not feel sorry for the level of stupidity required to be fooled by this. Then again, as much as I think drugs should be legal I also have little sympathy for druggies

      1. Your name reminds me of a libertarian adage about burglars and leaving your front door open. Except, again, these homeowners followed their burglars on Twitter and took their keys to them.

  6. Even if someone were dumb enough to believe a virus could survive very long outside the body, or somehow be blended into a chemical substance, would they really want the police to perform testing?

    We’re talking about people who tested bird poop on the hood of car and identified it as cocaine. They wouldn’t know coronavirus from Corona beer.

    1. So… I should be trying to snort bird poop if I want to get stoned? Or I should be taking my Corona beer to the cop station to get it tested for coronavirus? Or both? Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!

      (Wouldn’t it be funny, for a bunch of people to deliberately mass-call the cops, asking if, yea verily, they WILL also test Corona beer?)

      1. (Wouldn’t it be funny, for a bunch of people to deliberately mass-call the cops, asking if, yea verily, they WILL also test Corona beer?)

        That, not the corona beer part, is the appropriate response to the PD’s idiocy. If they can find corona virus in meth, they ought to be able to find it in any white powder or pretty much anything at all. If you wonder whether something has coronavirus in it, anything at all, call the Merrill PD.

        1. Holy shit! Make some stupid jokes, and see what happens! I guess that NO ONE will ever go broke, betting on human stupidity!

          https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/28/business/corona-beer-marketing/index.html

          The spread of the coronavirus couldn’t have come at a worse time for Corona beer

          Corona beer needs a name change ASAP!

        2. From there-cite:

          5W Public Relations said that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” because of the outbreak, and another 14% said they wouldn’t order a Corona in public. The survey encompasses polling from 737 beer drinkers in the United States.

          1. Note to self: Corona beer, same quality as it was, now priced to move everywhere.

  7. Of general interest about the panic about the virus, being a greater danger than the virus itself…

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culture-mind-and-brain/202002/the-coronavirus-is-much-worse-you-think

    The Coronavirus Is Much Worse Than You Think
    How COVID-19 is infecting our minds, not our lungs.

  8. “ It is our hope that every drug arrest both works to hold offenders accountable for their deeds[.]”

    So getting high and minding your own business is a deed requiring arrest?

    GTFO.

    1. So getting high and minding your own business is a deed requiring arrest?

      ^This^ is the comment IceTrey should’ve made.

      1. Although, again, following the Merrill PD on Twitter kinda suggests that they were minding the Merrill PD’s business and bringing the drugs to the PD *makes* it their business but still… not overtly arrest-worthy.

  9. Hey New Englanders. Smashing Pumpkins will be opening for Guns N Roses in Boston. Oh man. Who’s with me?

    1. A few years ago the Pumpkins toured with Garbage. Damn. I was a good four hour drive from the nearest show at the time. SUCK! Man. That would have been cool.

  10. I would but I don’t know how to get back to 1990.

    1. I didn’t have the means to go to a show like that in 1990. I guess I kinda understand why Boomers keep showing up to the Stones’ Steel Wheelchair tours.

      1. John? (yeah you’re not a Boomer but you spend as much to go see the Stones as I do on a month’s rent, or more. not offended or jealous. ok, a little bit jealous)

      2. I saw the Stones, CSNY, and Led Zeppelin in the early 70’s. It could only be downhill from there.

  11. It is our hope that an arrest would be the positive catalyst someone may need to start recovery.

    Nail, meet hammer.

    1. But Hammer isn’t supposed to hurt us.

  12. Hey y’all… Why can these Wisconsin cops advertise FALSE “medical” services, and NOT be busted for “practicing medicine without a license”? If you or I or some other peon did what they are doing, we’d be busted in no time flat!

    ESPECIALLY for those of you in Wisconsin, HERE https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/SelfService/FileAComplaint.aspx
    is where to file a complaint about “practicing medicine without a license”! You might want to give the cop-station address without mentioning that it is a cop station… Just write in “name(s) of unlicensed physician(s) unknown”… Else you will be ignored pronto!

    1. Why can these Wisconsin cops advertise FALSE “medical” services, and NOT be busted for “practicing medicine without a license”? If you or I or some other peon did what they are doing, we’d be busted in no time flat!

      Nope. They aren’t promising to diagnose anyone directly, merely (implying to) test their drugs. Assuming it’s clear the drugs are for human consumption, it’s an FDA matter and they’ll get progressively more sternly-worded letters from the FDA until either the FDA compiles enough evidence that they’re full of shit or someone files charges because they contracted cronoavirus from some meth the PD said was clean.

      If the drugs aren’t for human consumption, then it’s more of a ‘send me chemicals to put into my machine’ legal/regulatory scheme.

  13. “The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.” ~Robert Higgs

  14. Fucking sick. Sick sick sick. Police in this country have wandered so far astray from the foundational philosophy of policing that they have become the criminals. And to those quisling cops who go along to get along, you’re the sole enabler. Any LEO with moral doubts about the practices and structure of industrialized incarceration, legalized murder and speed trap fine farming should be vivified to revolt against the syndicate in the interest of The People, of which they are one, and counted as an ally rather than an enemy of the community. The only way to end the mistrust and violent death is for the virtuous to call out the virus, to return to the proper form of discretionary and equitable community defense.

    And the cops, judges and prosecutors who are in practice oppressors should have the experience of the Wrath of the People, beset by the free men, constrained by the constitution, and held to righteous account.

    Dragging a person to hell for possessing a plant or chemical is a grotesque distortion of the intended American Way. We need to bring them all to heel. They’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers. And the guns.

  15. If their success is measured by assuring the public that law enforcement has no problem promulgating false information to the entire public, then they probably accomplished their goal.
    They’ve succeeded in harming their credibility, and I doubt anyone is going to actually bring them their meth for testing.
    What happens when law enforcement really does need to alert the public, but is ignored due to their previous deception?
    Someone should tell them the story of the little boy who cried wolf.

    1. I grew up in a town 30 miles from Merrill in Lincoln county, of which Merrill is the county seat. I still have a lot of friends and family there. No one there is that stupid, not even the stoners. Pretty much a joke.

  16. “Irresponsible, ineffective, and dishonest”

    And totally predictable in today’s law enforcement environment, where illegally shooting someone is severely punished with 6 weeks of administrative leave in most cases.
    Of course, we shouldn’t let the 90% of crappy cops ruin it for the rest.

    The issue here isn’t whether meth heads should be arrested, but the underhanded and unethical tactics used by “peace” officers…after all, shouldn’t they be out writing speeding tickets to pad the municipal coffers?

    Most cops today are just a-holes with bad attitudes and guns. They love to complain about how their job constantly exposes them to danger, which of course it can, but if that is an issue then why the f*** did you become a cop in the first place?

    I am convinced they are being trained to view the public writ large as their enemy, and the only people they “protect and serve” is the political/bureaucratic class.

  17. Oh shit. Now we’re going to have caronavirus spreading meth gators to deal with.

    1. Cheese eating Wisconsin meth gators.

      Now worry.

  18. “I assume they are sincere”

    LOL fascists goons does not equal sincere.

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