Timoney: Drug Legalization Not Gaining Traction


Miami Police Chief John Timoney, president of the Police Executive Research Forum, has endorsed White House drug dzar Gil Kerlikowske’s opposition to legalizing drugs. Writing in PERF’s bulletin “Subject to Debate,” Timoney says, “I don’t see legalization gaining traction in this country. For one thing, if you legalize drugs, there goes the whole notion of using the criminal justice system as a lever to encourage people to go to a treatment program.”

The Miami chief agrees that the criminal justice system “is not the best way” to deal with drug addicts or recreational users. “We’d be better off giving these people treatment,” he says. But he adds that “treatment isn’t all it’s made out to be,” coming with “some pretty high failure rates.” Timoney also embraces Kerlikowske’s view that, as Timoney puts it, “we should stop talking about the ‘war on drugs” because people in a lot of communities across the country interpret that term as a war on them.”

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