Smoke If You Got ‘Em

I’m here in rainy, lovely Eugene, Oregon watching the Oregon Law Review symposium, A Step Forward: Creating a Just Drug Policy for the United States. (You can watch it live.) Jane is presenting her paper Defending the Dog – here’s the conclusion:

The narcotics dog doesn’t deserve the bad reputation it has received among scholars. The dog is the first generation of police tools that can usher a dramatic shift away from human criminal investigation and the attendant biases and conflicts of interests. Moreover, the reaction to the narcotics dog, as compared to the cadaver-sniffing dog, reveals an unsettling tendency to exploit criminal procedure when we are not enthusiastic about the underlying substantive criminal law. The natural instinct to do so may be counterproductive because drug enforcement will persist, with uneven results, and without a critical mass of public outrage.

Drug policy is a little far afield from my usual interests, but given the overwhelming use of Title III warrants (about 85% in 2011) to combat drug trafficking, and pending bills such as CISPA (which allows sharing for national security purposes – trafficking has long qualified), it seems well worth a Friday to learn more. (And, Jane’s empirical work brings some helpful rigor to the issue.) Updates as events warrant…

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