"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Monday, April 6, 2009

Guest Voice From City Council Member

Nicholas J. Vaugh is a City Councilor from the City of Ogdensburg

Vaugh: “Out of Touch” Addie Jenne Russell Delivers Law Enforcement a Disheartening Blow 
     As our community works to combat rising drug abuse, Representatives like Addie Russell seem to be doing their best to undermine our efforts.
     Since the passage of the first Rockefeller drug reforms in 2004, not only has the overall crime rate has decreased, but so has the number of incarcerated drug defendants.  Yet, the fact that the only drug defendants who are actually sent to state prison are drug dealers, individuals who prey on addiction and threaten the lives of our children doesn’t seem to faze Russell. Her support of the recent drug laws reform show she just doesn’t get it.

     The fact is, the threat of incarceration by those facing criminal prosecution has proven to be the most effective incentive to enter and successfully complete a treatment program. And she has seemingly ignored the fact that the number of defendants placed in treatment has dramatically increased. 

     Her support of the latest Rockefeller Drug law reforms will lessen sentences weakening police departments’ ability to use informants in undercover stings. Addie Russell's reforms will lead to higher crime rates and undermine prosecutorial authority.  In addition, Addie’s reforms may lead to the loss of correction officer jobs in the region. 

     I strongly suggest that she speak with the police who are on the front line of the increasing drug problem. Speak with the families and communities that are see the devastating effects of drugs first hand, and talk with the correction officers who deal with these criminals every day. Then and only then, may Russell understand that what we need are stronger and tougher drug laws.

     While Addie Russell and other in Albany & New York City politicians are patting themselves on the back, drug dealers across the state are celebrating. Drug law reforms included in this budget handcuff prosecutors, and deliver another disheartening blow to law enforcement and correction officers, those whom risk their lives to protect us.  Addie Jenne Russell continues to demonstrate just how out of touch she is with North Country residents.


Dan Francis said...

Right up front let me say clearly: I DO NOT support legalization of drugs, any kind, period (one exception: Treatment ordered by a MD for a sick or dying patient).

The subject of
"decriminalization" for small amounts of certain products in one's home should be looked at more closely. We can still lock up the hardcore offenders, producers, sellers, pushes, distributors, and the like of "hard drugs," and I have no problem with that.

But, consider this in the debate I think we need all across the country:

There is clearly a growing recognition around the world and even in the U.S. that, strictly on empirical grounds, criminalization approaches to drug usage and, especially, the "War on Drugs," are abject failures, because they worsen the exact problems they are ostensibly intended to address.

"Strictly on empirical grounds" means excluding from the assessment:

(a) ideological questions regarding the legitimacy of imprisoning adults for consuming drugs they choose to consume;

(b) the evisceration of Constitutional and civil liberties wrought by drug criminalization; and

(c) the extraordinary sums of money devoted to the War on Drugs both domestically and internationally.

You want to read more on this subject? A lot of people follow this example Drug Decriminalization in Portugal

Education and minor adjustments might work better than the "war" itself? At least it's worth exploring from a rational, moral, legal and common-sense point of view. Certainly debate can't hurt, can it?

Food for thought.

~ dmf

Anonymous said...

When is he going to announce his candidacy? Loser.

This is a poor attempt to get your name in the paper using lies and distortions.

Judges and DA's have the same power to send drug dealers to jail, only now judges finally have the DISCRETION to decide.

Let judges be judges and analize each situation differently. There is no cookie cutter approach to sentencing.

I applaud Addie.

Anonymous said...

Is RACC already writing this guys press releases?? Hold on to your seats boys and girls, here comes another Tedisco style campaign in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Barack Obama also said, "It is absolutely true that we can't depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector." From the recent government assault on business. It's typical say one thing and do another. You can not say you believe something and act in a separate way. That is what they call hypocrisy.

stan joyman said...

it is clearly time to legalize marajuana. just like every other so-called vice, legalize, grow, and tax. lets stop throwing money away and start making money and creating jobs. lets free up police and court time and let law enforcement focus on real crime.this is now a giant industry, and the only people that profit are crimminals. lets help ourselves create jobs and tax money that would be paid freely if this product was for sale in the same manner as tobbaco and alcohol and stop the constant feeding off law abiding citizens for more and more taxes. there is no downside to legalization. this really is time for change.

Anonymous said...

Change you can believe in.

Addie and D are spot on supporting these reforms. If their backwards constituents can't see the reasoning, let them go to heck. There's enough of us progressives to elect them back into office time and time again.

Anonymous said...

Amen Stan! -- I second that!!

Anonymous said...

The IRS will love this legalization. Pot is the #2 cash crop in Palinistan (AK), and the rest of the west coast. Tobacco is legal, and no less dangerous. Alcohol same. Mr Francis should announce his candidacy any day now.


Anonymous said...

Vaugh hit the nail right on it's head. The drug trade is going violent, involving deadly weapons. This is a growing problem in the North Country.
We can't afford to lose the prison jobs. Addie is not fighting for us.
Vaugh for Assembly!!

Anonymous said...

First off, the legislation creates crimes for selling drugs with a weapon, a crime that was not on the books before, and second they just closed 2 prisons which means we may need more jobs at our North Country prisons. Do you have any other ill concieved logic anon 1:59?? I love how people spout off at the mouth before doing their homework.

Joseph D said...

Vaugh's far from ready for the assembly but he hit the nail right into Addie's head.

This woman is supposed to be a lawyer? So, she makes her living off defending dope dealers and professional potheads, right?

It is impossible to legalize pot because there is no way to measure its intoxicating ability. I can drink a beer, enjoy the taste and not get drunk. The same cannot be said for pot.

You can't smoke it and not get stoned. That's why people toke up. They sure as hell don't enjoy the taste. They love the buzz and many are addicted to it - just like cigarettes.

Once you're doped up and get behind the wheel, how do we quantify your level of intoxication? Did you smoke one joint or a full ounce? We'll never know because we can't measure it.

The liberals continue to promote the lie that pot and other drugs are harmless "recreation" that only affect the user. What a bunch of liberal puke! Except for the hardcore stoners, almost everyone who smokes dope (especially young people) also partake of hard drugs like coke, meth and ecstasy.

As far as Francis' myth about it being prescribed by doctors to help patients, that's a load of crap too. Does it make them feel better because they are stoned out of their gourds? Sure, but it doesn't treat their illness.

Keep up the fight Nick, and help me and some other people ensure that Addie is a one-term punchline for a joke about unqualified politicians exhibiting the Peter Principle - rising to their level of incompetence. I frankly think she reached hers in the jeff. Co. Legislature.

Anonymous said...

Joseph D...the only thing you got wrong is Vaugh is ready..he has a good head on his shoulders sounds like. I've seen his views ok issues in the Times and Journal. He's right on. Let's give him a chance. He can't do any worse then addie thats for sure. I'd love to see Vaugh run!

Anonymous said...

When will we come to the conclusion that all the SWAT Teams, dogs, law enforcement types will never do away with something that can be grown easily, Smoking tobacco is legal and TAXED to the highest point it can be, Alcohol is legal and we have various agencies tied to people who drink to much, Decriminalize it, I don't see how this reflects on the Job Addie is doing, Just look at the State Budget for that.

Dan Francis said...

Anon 12:21: As Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again." I never advocated or pushed to legalize drugs of any kind ... you are way off base.

Joe D 4:24: You are dead wrong, too ... when a doctor prescribes MJ (mostly) it's for the pain; not the cure, moron.

I didn't imply that either. I said if a MD ordered it for a dying or sick patient, I could support the MD's judgment - what you don't trust doctors?

I bet if you were sick day in and day out, or on death's doorstep, you'd do anything to stop the vomiting and/or pain.

In any case, I'd appreciate it if you two or one, didn't twist or spin my posts... I can do that myself.

~ dmf

Anonymous said...

Political IV..VAUGH for Assembly!!??

Anonymous said...

Hey Joseph...Addie is an elder law attorney who probably does nothing but medicaid claims and helps old people fill out paper work...you people are stupid.

woodchucksage said...

Elder law??? So she doesn't know squat about drugs, or pushers, or jail, or......anything else legislative I guess. She should step aside and avoid any further embarassment.

Anonymous said...

What does that even mean?

Anonymous said...

To dmf- quoting Reagan doesn't make your argument stronger........


Dan Francis said...

Joe 6:34: I didn't say it did... there YOU go again!

Anonymous said...

I agree..Vaugh should run for assembly..He was selected one of 40 leaders of Northern New York by the Times. He is on the Fort La Presentation Board of Directors and the St. Lawrence County Community Development Board of Directors. He is very actively involved in the North Country communities. He brings a business background, exactly what we need in government. He is an idealist, young, progressive, outsider, and most of someone who will fight for us here in the North Country.

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