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Former Minnesota Police Chief: Drug War Is a Sham


February 1993

The former chief of police for Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tony Bouza, believes that the drug war of the last decade has been a sham foisted on an unwitting public by cynical politicians exploiting fear and ignorance (Tony Bouza, "Clinton Should Stop the Music on this Sham of a War on Drugs," Star Tribune (Minneapolis), 1/27/93).

In an opinion piece for the Minneapolis Star Tribune Bouza wrote: "America's war on drugs is worse than a waste of time and money, it is a sham perpetrated on a gullible and unknowing public by cynical politicians pandering to fears and ignorance."

Bouza does not favor legalization or decriminalization of illicit drugs, but believes that "enforcement focus ought to be on the 'Mr. Bigs' of the drug trade, not on the minnows ... " By locking up small time dealers and users, the drug war has succeeded in "cramming the jails, for longer and longer periods as legislatures mandated and lengthened sentences. The result was to leave no room for rapists, killers, burglars, muggers, and other recidivists, for whom there were no mandated sentences. Thus does Dracon serve the ambitions of politicians who are not going to be labeled as being soft on drugs."