New Mexico House passes drug treatment measure

Feb 24, 2010 Full story: Silver City Sun-News 28

People facing drug possession charges in New Mexico would have the option of treatment rather than jail time under a measure that narrowly passed the House on Tuesday, two days after lawmakers resurrected the failed measure.

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fix new mexico

Albuquerque, NM

#22 Feb 27, 2010
Silver Sally wrote:
The young man in Albuquerque who beat his grandmother to death with a concrete filled pipe this week, what drug was he on?
Knowing New Mexico - Meth probably!
Someone that knows

Richardson, TX

#23 Feb 28, 2010
No, this bill will not cost New Mexico more money. This is nothing but a win-win bill for New Mexico. Rather than cost money, this bill is estimated to save many millions of dollars each year. The cost of prison is around $30 thousand a year, this is no where near that amount.

This program has been tried in other states with success. This is a long-term program (I believe near 2 years). If a person is not proceeding in the program with success the judge can withdraw the person and send him to prison at any time. The person will still be confined, but at a much much lower cost. If the person is not success--what has been lost? With the short-term programs it is easier to fool staff, but under a two-year program it is more difficult.

NMWeatherman and others say build more prisons. No, this has not proven to be cost saving. Prisons are not solving problems, but creating more criminals. If you put someone with drug addictions with murderers as is now being done, the person with an addiction is very likely to become more like the hardened criminal.

If you try to save a life and give the person treatment--what have you lost? You have saved the cost of prison for at least awhile. The lives saved will be an added bonus. Each person turned from crime is another citizen holding down a job and becoming a contributing member to society.
Common Sense

Albuquerque, NM

#24 Feb 28, 2010
tom wrote:
stop the WAR ! we have been fighting the government war on drugs ever since the Government attacked Coke-cola . It is a war that cannot be won. let people live there lives as they wish to. We don't need big brother to intervine. BUT,keep the eye for an eye law. Get over it!
Like in the Netherlands, where the entire economy is broke because dopers can't work reliably & legalization of enough drugs made every doper in Europe move in?
How much welfare a month should the self-pitying little dope users have? How much should our taxes go up so we non-users can subsidize the welfare for users and the many programs their poorly-parented kids need?
Would you be happy with IOU's like the kindly welfare state of California is writing to pay its bills?
someone that knows

Richardson, TX

#26 Mar 1, 2010
Common Sense wrote:
<quoted text>
Like in the Netherlands, where the entire economy is broke because dopers can't work reliably & legalization of enough drugs made every doper in Europe move in?
How much welfare a month should the self-pitying little dope users have? How much should our taxes go up so we non-users can subsidize the welfare for users and the many programs their poorly-parented kids need?
Would you be happy with IOU's like the kindly welfare state of California is writing to pay its bills?
No, you have not read the bill. Maybe you should. This is not for welfare or to give pity to those on drugs. This is to break the cycle and MOST OF ALL TO SAVE MONEY. If a person is self supporting he will not be on welfare. If a person does not desire to change he will still go to prison. In the meantime he has been housed at a much much lower cost. So study the bill.
Really now

AOL

#27 Mar 1, 2010
Someone that knows wrote:
No, this bill will not cost New Mexico more money. This is nothing but a win-win bill for New Mexico. Rather than cost money, this bill is estimated to save many millions of dollars each year. The cost of prison is around $30 thousand a year, this is no where near that amount.
This program has been tried in other states with success. This is a long-term program (I believe near 2 years). If a person is not proceeding in the program with success the judge can withdraw the person and send him to prison at any time. The person will still be confined, but at a much much lower cost. If the person is not success--what has been lost? With the short-term programs it is easier to fool staff, but under a two-year program it is more difficult.
NMWeatherman and others say build more prisons. No, this has not proven to be cost saving. Prisons are not solving problems, but creating more criminals. If you put someone with drug addictions with murderers as is now being done, the person with an addiction is very likely to become more like the hardened criminal.
If you try to save a life and give the person treatment--what have you lost? You have saved the cost of prison for at least awhile. The lives saved will be an added bonus. Each person turned from crime is another citizen holding down a job and becoming a contributing member to society.
You are obviously not familiar with how Albuquerque P.D. operates.
There is a unit dedicated to bad-mouthing people they have had a problem with, even for the smallest crimes. They poison neighbors, employers, fellow-churchgoers, etc. It's the Intelligence Unit. They made the headlines back in 1995 (not only because a lawsuit filed by Joseph N. Riggs, III and others was settled and APD was placed under the supervision of LAPD-LMAOROTFL, right?) but because they outed an employee of Metro Court Pretrial Services as having 30+ prior arrests and convictions-misdemeanors- and 1 arrest and conviction for felony drug dealing from the feds. I think its funny that this guy knew someone who was willing to overlook all that- and his boss at Metro Court Pretrial Services said he knew- but that the system itself could be so hypocritical as to shoot down pissants and allow people like this to be gainfully employed. This program will be sabotaged by what passes for law enforcement in Albuquerque.
someone that knows

Richardson, TX

#28 Mar 1, 2010
Really now wrote:
<quoted text>
You are obviously not familiar with how Albuquerque P.D. operates.
There is a unit dedicated to bad-mouthing people they have had a problem with, even for the smallest crimes. They poison neighbors, employers, fellow-churchgoers, etc. It's the Intelligence Unit. They made the headlines back in 1995 (not only because a lawsuit filed by Joseph N. Riggs, III and others was settled and APD was placed under the supervision of LAPD-LMAOROTFL, right?) but because they outed an employee of Metro Court Pretrial Services as having 30+ prior arrests and convictions-misdemeanors- and 1 arrest and conviction for felony drug dealing from the feds. I think its funny that this guy knew someone who was willing to overlook all that- and his boss at Metro Court Pretrial Services said he knew- but that the system itself could be so hypocritical as to shoot down pissants and allow people like this to be gainfully employed. This program will be sabotaged by what passes for law enforcement in Albuquerque.
Yes, I do know some--not a lot--of how it works. I know those with power, money, and close ties to the important people will probably always be above the law in Albuquerque. I agree it is flawed, but this is a step in the right direction. It is still up to the judges when to use it--there again is a problem. However, it has worked in other states and I do believe as I say before it is a step in the right direction. It is definitely a money saver.

I do believe changs in those in power is necessary for change--but don't know when that will happen. No, the latest changes made were not improvement.
tom

AOL

#29 Mar 2, 2010
Common Sense wrote:
<quoted text>
Like in the Netherlands, where the entire economy is broke because dopers can't work reliably & legalization of enough drugs made every doper in Europe move in?
How much welfare a month should the self-pitying little dope users have? How much should our taxes go up so we non-users can subsidize the welfare for users and the many programs their poorly-parented kids need?
Would you be happy with IOU's like the kindly welfare state of California is writing to pay its bills?
Just where have you been hiding ?? This country is broke over 13 trillion in debt! the state of NM is broke and soon you will be too! vote for another Bill Richardson and Obama !
Be Alert

Alamogordo, NM

#30 Mar 3, 2010
"The entire Dutch economy is broke because dopers can't work reliably & legalization of enough drugs made every doper in Europe move in?"
First of all, the Dutch economy is booming and has been since WWII. GDP per capita (2004 est.) was $35,768, compared to the US in the same year of $33,899. Secondly, drugs are not legal in the Netherlands. Marijuana has been decriminalized in certain areas of Amsterdam and several MJ Cafes have been licensed to dispense marijuana within those cafes. Other drugs are still illegal and their use is as high and dangerous as ever.
If you want to compare a country that has legalized drugs, try Portugal, which legalized drugs 9 years ago. Here, part of a Time magazine article: "At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal's drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.
See the world's most influential people in the 2009 TIME 100.
The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to "drug tourists" and exacerbate Portugal's drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.
The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.
"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."
Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.
The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%(although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well."
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,859...

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