The drug war is a “miserable” failure and the federal government needs to take the lead on reforming marijuana policy, Houston Police Chief Charles McLelland said Friday in a radio interview.
“Most of us understand, we do believe, those of us that are law enforcement executives, that the war on drugs, the 1980 drug policies, was a miserable failure, there’s no doubt about that,” McLelland said to Dean Becker, host of “Cultural Baggage,” a radio show focused on the war on drugs.
Law enforcement needs to find the “most efficient and effective” ways to keep communities safe, McLelland said, and in order to do that, “we have to think differently about crime, crime prevention, drug rehabilitation, substance abuse, mental illness — there’s a whole host of things that we need to treat differently than we did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago.”
McClelland is the police chief of a city that’s home to more than 2 million people, and is the fourth most populous city in the U.S., behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The drug war, he said, has “disproportionately criminalized a certain segment of our population,” namely young minority men. “It has a trickle-down effect, that a lot of young men who are minorities, in their early 20s, have a felony conviction on their resume, and now they’re unemployable. And we wonder why they don’t have jobs, they’re not working, they’re not contributing to society in a productive way, but we’ve put them in a position to where the odds are stacked against them.”
– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.