Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Reason analysis revealed that there are more than 2,000 inmates serving sentences in the state [of Florida] for trafficking oxycodone/hydrocodone. Although Florida legislators passed the laws with the intention of going after large-scale traffickers, 63 percent of those currently serving time for pill trafficking offenses are first-time inmates like [Cynthia] Powell. Many, like Powell, were set up by confidential informants who started working for the police after their own arrests. The mandatory-minimum sentences stripped judges of their discretion, saddled the state with an aging, expensive inmate population with no possibility of early release, and have been woefully inadequate at getting pills off the streets or treating addicts, many of whom are now turning to more powerful opioids like heroin and fentanyl.

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In many other states, Powell would have been a candidate for a diversion program or maybe probation. Under Florida's ruthless anti-opioid laws, she received a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison on charges of drug trafficking and possession with intent to sell. ...

The confidential informant who set up Cynthia Powell called her repeatedly begging for pills and saying she was sick, according to a statement Powell gave to police after her arrest. "She kept on calling me, kept on calling me. ... She told me she had throat problems, had a bad flu, because she sounded real bad," Powell told the police.

"I don't even know nothing about this lady," she continued. "The only way I know about her was because of a friend of mine. I'm on a lot of medication. So I told her no. She said, 'Cynthia, please, please just give me a little pill.'"

Confidential informants have played a major role in the state's opioid busts. Some 62 percent of those arrested for opioid trafficking in the state were set up by an undercover police officer or confidential informant, according to the 2012 OPPAGA report, which looked at a sample of 194 offenders put in prison between 2010 and 2011.

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Idiots like Pam Bondi and Jeff Sessions are proud of this.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 06:23 PM | Reply

This would all end if congress decided to confront pharma. but cash is so sweet.

#2 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-04-18 06:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Republicans do not care about society, all they want to do is punish people.

#3 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-04-18 07:07 PM | Reply

And wasn't Rush busted for possession of opioids in Florida?

#4 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-04-18 07:08 PM | Reply

Private prisons greatly encourage this problem because it is profitable.

#5 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 07:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Our political prisons operate for profit and power. The taxpayer foots the bill.

#6 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-04-18 07:25 PM | Reply

#5

You've got more idiot talking points than Carter's has pills.

#7 | Posted by et_al at 2017-04-18 07:47 PM | Reply

Destroying lives unnecessarily for fun and profit. The USA has hundreds of ways of accomplishing this mission.

#8 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-18 07:54 PM | Reply

don't pay any attention to etal danni, she cannot grasp the simple fact that a negative entry or mistake in a credit report requires no proof of any kind. However, there are strict documentation requirements for correcting any of those errors. Neither can she acknowledge that the only reason the correction process has been streamlined at all is on account of Government intervention. Prior to Congress changing the rules it took a lawyer to get it fixed.

#9 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-04-18 08:06 PM | Reply

Putting a party label on the drug war is not accurate nor is it fair. The Mann Act was passed during the administration of FDR. The DEA was established by the Nixon administration. There have been several administrations of each party sense the policy of "the war on drugs" started. Nether party has done much except put people into jail for possession, or dealing. Considering the personal habits of many of the individuals who drafted these laws the hypercritical huberous is astounding. There is nothing appealing about addiction. Drug abuse is about as attractive as four day old road kill. We have had addicts with us from day one. No one who has a choice wants to deal with an addict regardless what substance they use. Addiction is the problem, not the drugs. We do not put drugs into prison, we incarcerate people.
The worse thing the progressives have done in the last 60 years is to change the standards for commitment. Now the standard is an individual must be a threat to themselves or others. Before the standard was the individual was incapable of caring for themselves. Sorry but I believe the prior standard was more humane. Of course those who disagree must approve of psychological cripples freezing to death in an alley. Before mental hospitals were renamed they were called asylums. Asylum is a word that means a place of refuge. Nice concept. Maybe we need to revisit that concept. Of course we will probity continue on this course regardless of how much damage is done. Conservatives want to look tough on crime. Progressives can't articulate a policy to oppose that. BTW, Number one cause of addiction here? Ethanol. It's legal.

#10 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-04-19 09:37 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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Conservatives still pushing the complete failure of a drug war like they are America doctors pushing pills.

#11 | Posted by klifferd at 2017-04-19 09:49 AM | Reply

#11 | Posted by klifferd, Then what is your solution? I have an ideal. Repeal all the drug laws. Make what ever drug you want to use you business and your responsibility. Make them cheep and easy to get. That was the situation before the Mann Act. Anyone could go into a drug store and buy Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, or anything else. The number of people who were addicted was between 7 and 10 percent. After 80 years of drug prohibition the number of addicts in our population is between 7 to 10 percent, surprise.

#12 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-04-19 11:46 AM | Reply

Three years and $50k fine for eight pills? Patients get more than that after getting wisdom teeth pulled...

#13 | Posted by catdog at 2017-04-19 12:34 PM | Reply

"You've got more idiot talking points than Carter's has pills."

So you support privatized prisons. Got it, you're on record. What a completely soulless human being you are and then to be proud of it. Just sad for you and more sad for those related to you.

#14 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-19 12:42 PM | Reply

"The worse thing the progressives have done in the last 60 years is to change the standards for commitment. Now the standard is an individual must be a threat to themselves or others. "

Review "One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest" and get back to us on that.

#15 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-19 12:45 PM | Reply

#13 | Posted by catdog Want to hear something even more stupid? The average time an individual serves in a Texas prison for murder is 7 years. The average time served for distribution of a controlled substance, 9 years. The war on drugs has been fought, drugs won.

#16 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-04-19 12:45 PM | Reply

#15 | Posted by danni, refresh your knowledge, One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest was set in 1968+-. That standard was not in place at that time. As a mater of fact I was working as an aide in a mental hospital as these standards were being being implemented. 1976 to 1978

#17 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-04-19 12:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Then what is your solution?"

first you legalize and regulate soft drugs.

then you create a treatment structure for addicts instead of a mandatory jail term that ruins their's and their family's lives.

Other countries have come up with policy that has done this. Portugal being a great example.

#18 | Posted by klifferd at 2017-04-21 10:05 AM | Reply

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