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Former cop suggests new approach to drug policy

Katie Kooser

Issue date: 11/12/10 Section: News
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"The prohibition approach has filled our jails, criminalized millions of our citizens, provided a financial windfall for international and local criminal groups, and somehow we never tire of pretending it is working," said Howard Rahtz, from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), said this past Tuesday, Nov. 8. Case Western Reserve University's Young Americans for Liberty, Case Democrats, and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy hosted Rahtz to speak about revising the United States' current drug prohibition policy. Nearly 60 CWRU students and faculty attended.

Rahtz is a former police captain and SWAT team negotiator with an M.A. in Rehab Counseling from the University of Cincinnati, and degrees from Northwestern University School of Police Command, and the Ohio Police Executive Leadership College. Rahtz also gained insight about drugs and their effect on individuals' lives as the supervisor of a city run methadone program. His background with drug treatment and in drug interdiction has exposed him to the realities of current drug prohibition policy. With 18 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, including his years as police captain of the Cincinnati Police Department, Rahtz has one goal: "[to] choke off the revenue that supports drug cartels and drug trafficking." Choking off such revenue, he said, would in turn be a financial benefit for the United States.

Rahtz suggests this goal can be achieved by legalizing marijuana, but not supporting public use of the drug.The legal sale of marijuana would provide the U.S. with two new sources of revenue: the money saved by reducing criminal justice costs and the money earned by taxing the drug.

While combating drug transactions on American streets, Rahtz recognized that his police department might make a greater difference in the drug war by tackling drugs on the wholesale level. Rahtz and his department set records by taking on this new approach, preventing many drugs from reaching street dealers. But the efficacy of the approach is questionable.
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Issue Summary

News

  • A conversation with Ted Steinberg
  • CWRU law students' bar exam passage rate best in Ohio
  • Former cop suggests new approach to drug policy
  • IMPROVment draws huge crowd for first ever alumni show
  • Relay for Life kicks off today
  • Runners brave hail and rain for hole in the wall camps
  • Save time by automating your finances
  • University forum addresses online bullying
  • USG Brief

Sports

  • Cross Country travels to Great Lakes Regional
  • Fighting Gobies take home titles at North Coast
  • Spartan swim team host Veale Classic this weekend
  • Spartans drop final match at Rochester, miss out on NCAAs
  • Spartans earn best UAA finish since 2000, grab first ever NCAA berth
  • Two blocked field goals in final minutes doom 4-peat
  • Women's soccer drops match to Yellow Jackets after early lead

Opinion

  • Editorial: Something to complain about
  • Freedom of speech is dying - and there's nothing you can do about it
  • Honesty after our election tsunami

Focus

  • "Hunk, Hustler, Hard-Ass" seminar an eye-opening look at masculinity
  • A trip to Tremont
  • CIM president Joel Smirnoff leads CIM orchestra through exquisite performances of Mozart, Bartók, Beethoven
  • Dance Marathoners to stay on feet for 12 hour benefit
  • Happiness is a warm campus
  • Hitting the Spot: Gold Motel
  • Medical students band together for ShowCASE of campus musical talent
  • You're trying to seduce me
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