Drug War fails; reform needed

Register
Feb 24, 2014

Calling the three-man team of police officers the Ottawa County Drug Task Force might be overstating it. They're more like marijuana cops given the task force's results last year. 

In 2013, the Ottawa County Drug Task Force seized about $374,000 worth of illegal drugs in the county. About $363,000 of that total — 99 percent — was marijuana. 
 
That must be why there's no marijuana in Ottawa County. 
 
We're being facetious, but we do suspect the work by the Drug Task Force last year had very little impact on the drug trade in the county. 
 
We also question whether the costs of funding three full-time officers for this interdiction is worth it, especially given the real cost is likely tenfold or more than the payroll expense when the cost of the subsequent court cases and incarceration are paid by taxpayers. 
 
We're not criticizing the police officers, whose job it is to enforce the state's laws including the prohibitions that remain on the possession and distribution of pot. We appreciate the good intentions of every police officer who works for the good of our communities. 
 
But marijuana possession is a misdemeanor offense and we just don't think much can be accomplished funding a pot police patrol. Mulligan is asking cities to provide more funding for the task force this year, but like nearly every other city in Ohio, Port Clinton is balking at increased funding, citing the city's own budget crunch. 
 
We don't pretend to know what the solution to drug addiction and associated crimes might be; but what we do know is that the methods employed for the last four decades by law enforcement agencies everywhere don't work.
 
Local communities, the state and the federal government all have been losing the War on Drugs since the day war was declared. The enforcement tactics used are more costly — by far — than any results that have been achieved. 
 
The real need, in our view, is for a Statehouse task force in Columbus that would take a real and thorough look at the state's drug laws, interdiction programs, addiction treatment services and develop a reform package to address the failing war effort. 
 
Local police and prosecutors deserve a better road map to enforcement; residents with addiction problems should have viable and accessible options for treatment; and taxpayers should be provided funding options that derive some sort of return on their investment.

Comments

Peninsula Pundit

Don't forget to note this 3-man pot patrol was caught red-handed in perjury and Mulligan brought NO charges against them.
No one ran against Mulligan this past election.
You know the fix is in with DeWine being repub and Mulligan a democrat.
Isn't it nice to know that something transcends party politics?

Stop It

Amen...

Cross

Two things need to be done. All drug charges need to be capped at misdemeanor. Period.

Second, all police need to have a video camera on them at all times with all footage recorded while on duty, and all that video footage needs to be *PUBLIC ACCESSIBLE*.

We have way too many poor people thrown in jail by dirty cops, or for being drug addicts from a young age. This is from both draconian drug laws and military style police action both of which need to be tempered.

BabyMomma

Triple the penalties on crack, heroin, cocaine, and pills. Then legalize Marijuana. Simple.

Kramer

Legalize marijuana and release all prisoners of marijuana crime. Change the sentence for opiates, cocaine and meth to mandatory 25 years for any level of dealing. There will be plenty of room in prison when the pot criminals are released. Problem solved.

The governed

I'd like to add that $300,000 worth of that pot was nabbed from a "grow op." This case was dismissed because it was found and proven that evidence was manufactured.

" When they quit committing crimes I guess that's when we'll have to start making stuff up"

Ralph J.
Ralph J.

Where are the perjury charges against these three liars?

DickTracey

They are right beside the criminal theft and exploitation charges for the Marblehead jeweler, that are undeath the charges for the husband and wife horse abusers, that got buried under Sheriff Brattons theft in office charges, that are all gathering dust on MULLIGAN'S DESK!

Babo

LOL, Mulligan would never indict a LEO or public official for perjury. He likes to indict citizens for bringing forward proof of perjury or thefts by LEO's or public officials silly!

jacksonbrowne

On the news Friday night there was a segment regarding a huge roundup of drug dealers, heroin, crack, rx drugs etc, in Seneca County most especially Tiffin. Apparently Seneca Co Metrich is going balls to the wall to catch these people.

Unassumer

Years ago I lived in a duplex next to a group of mexicans that did not speak English. They got busted and moved away. Thought that was the end of that. One day, the drug task force and several other armed law enforcement showed up and swarmed around that duplex. So of course I looked out the door and then one of them comes up and starts showing me pictures of mexicans (who by the way do all look alike if you don't really know them) and so I said I really only recognized one of them. From that time on, the cops followed me around town every time I went to the store. One of them followed me home once and sat down the street waiting for the longest time. Anyway I think they finally figured out that I didn't know those guys and was not in on their little drug operation. Thankfully we moved from there and out of the city limits!

Steve P

Yet another anti-law enforcement article from this newspaper, how surprising, unless the agency is on speed dial with the management expect negative coverage.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for your comment Steve P. The Register does not play favorites as you suggest and certainly there are people in every county where the newspaper is circulated who can attest to that. It seems you're blaming the Register for reporting negative news, but you're unwilling or unable to address the serious nature of the issues being raised by people in the community that trigger this news coverage. And just because another newspaper opts not to tell a broader story based on the filings, the complaints, the lawsuits, the depositions and other information from the public and local governments should not mean that every newspaper must also set that information aside. That would seem to be an undesireable path to mediocrity. Personally, I'd prefer something better.    

Steve P

Mr. Westerhold we can only agree to disagree, I travel in many parts of his state and read many newspapers, in my personal opinion this newspaper appears to obsess on certain issues well beyond the normal news information cycle and does appear to take sides on some issues.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Steve P. You're right; the SR's coverage goes beyond the normal news information cycle. Normal sucks. 

Steve P

Nice, thanks for the honesty.

DGMutley

SteveP,

Oughta be more like The News-Messenger, huh? Not a peep about Ricky Vitte Jr. In fact, no record at all in their news or archives.

If we don't talk about it, it'll just go away. Right, SteveP?

Fromthe419

1960's we had the war on welfare, 1970's we had the war on education, 1980's the war on drugs, 2000's war on terror....how are we doing on these wars? Everytime our government throws money at problems, they always get worse. It doesn't seem to matter if it is a Republican or Democrat that is President, our government officials our poor stewards of the public's money.

Steve P

Does that indicate that if we except bad or negative behavior and consider it the new normal that the problem is solved?

Ralph J.

It could very be that the Sandusky Register will no longer hide the truth and expose the lies that the Port Clinton New-Herald and Fremont News-Messenger tried to fool the readers?

DGMutley

Props!

Dr. Information

Nothing more than an opinion piece

Peninsula Pundit

Less can be said for your typical comments.

kURTje

Most voters want MJ legal. Figures don't lie but liars figure.