Missoula City Council Supports Lease For High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

by lizard

LAPD deputy chief, Stephen Downing, has a question for president Obama. As a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), officer Downing asks the following YouTube question:

Good question. Meanwhile, the war on drugs chugs along.

Like wherever there’s a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area established.

Missoula’s PD participates in this wonderful program, and if you want to fill out some info about drug dealers, go to the city website and fill out a report.

And thanks to a City Council vote tonight, the city’s participation (via a lease) with HIDTA will only get stronger. Kudos to Wiener, Wolken, Taft, and Jaffe for voting NO. Boo on Copple for voting yes. And does anyone know why Hertz abstained?

Ultimately it doesn’t matter. When it comes to the WAR ON DRUGS!!!, the Feds call the tune, and local officials dance accordingly. Sure, it’s nice to know more and more sane members of law enforcement are seeing the absolute failure of this impossible-to-win war, but when it comes to the Feds, sanity does not appear to be contagious.

**UPDATE:  Adam Hertz abstained because of his matrimonial ties to the Lambros empire, and they are the ones facilitating the lease.

  1. Ruthie

    Lizard: @adamhertzmt tweeted that having in-laws at Lambros created a conflict of interest for him voting on the drug task force lease issue tonight at Missoula City Council. Said he also abstained in committee vote for same reason. One more vote wouldn’t have helped, anyway, turns out. And what’s up with Copple? Did she understand the issue at hand?!

  2. Steve W

    Officially labeling Missoula as a “high intensity drug trafficking area” can’t be good for property values, for attracting businesses or for attracting college students.

    What is it good for?

    Maybe the council is looking to attract private prisons, or maybe they believe we are winning the war on drugs.

    I’m not sure what they are thinking.

    Anybody have any more info?

  3. Buzz Feedback

    Maybe Hertz can pull Jaffe aside and explain to Bailout Bob the notion of “conflict of interest.”

  4. lizard19

    here is some more information about South Dakota’s HIDTA

    this is a great opportunity, under the umbrella of the war on drugs, to integrate local law enforcement with Fed tech-support and training. it creates new dependencies on funding sources, embedding itself in the budgets of local municipalities, many struggling financially.

    I couldn’t find the link, but I think I read somewhere how money seized through forfeiture is being re-invested into building and maintaining the actual infrastructure of these programs, which creates more incentive to seize property—a legal practice associated with the war on drugs that anyone can see is atrocious (the inverse of our justice system, being assumed guilty and having to prove otherwise to get your stuff back).

    too bad there’s no money attached through this federalizing/militarizing of local police for something that may actually help America’s big problem with drugs (pills, alcohol, speed, sugar) like addiction treatment.

    instead it will be more investment in the overall creep of the security state, using technology for the latest means of surveillance. drones will be flying the Big Sky in no time.

    but I’m going to try and look on the bright side: maybe this means that prison in Hardin will finally get some use. and you know what that means?

    JOBS! :)

  5. Pete Talbot

    Tried to get the minutes for last Monday’s council meeting but they haven’t been posted, so:

    Where is the leased spot?

    And who’s paying for it?

    I have a basement apartment I’d be willing to lease to these guys.:-)

  6. Drill Baby Drill

    Wow, glad to see the liberals are continuing to focus on the most pressing issues at hand! No wonder Obama is so popular – Oh… Wait..,.

    • Steve W

      Baby, have you looked at the polls lately?

      Have you looked at the predictive financial markets lately?


      Well that explains your lack of awareness with what’s happening, then.

      But thanks for sharing your uninformed opinion with us. That was sweet and kind of charming, in a naive way.

  7. Its about control, plain and simple. Doesn’t matter if drug policies aren’t rational, or if the ROI is horrible, or if we jail one of the highest percentages of our population out of any nation. Current drug policy gives the Feds an inroads to meddle in local and state affairs, it gives them reason to march into any community and proceed as they see fit.

  8. In 1996 William F. Buckley, Jr wrote The War On Drugs Is Lost”.

    Always a good read and a magnificent argument against prohibition.

    We have learned nothing as a society from our failure,

  9. Chuck

    Maybe Copple has been in some drug and booze infested homes and seen the kids trying to survive in that environment.

    • lizard19

      you mean the kind of situations that underpaid overworked social workers deal with on a daily basis?

      sure, maybe if there’s a few bucks left over from investing in more toys for the security state, there will be some crumbs tossed to preventative measures, like this one:

      Working together, the Oregon HIDTA and Oregon Partnership, a Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grantee, provide resources to law enforcement officers to educate youth on the “faces” of addiction, the dangers of substance abuse, and the risks associated with use that can lead to youth violence and criminal street gangs.

      cops educating youth, that’s a great idea. kids are always really receptive to that police officer who comes around with the glass case of paraphernalia.

      • Chuck

        Yes Lizard, the overworked and underpaid social workers. This program should place equal emphasis on prevention and treatment and not just enforcement,
        Actually, school resource officers developing one on one relationships can be the only positive interaction with authorities that some of these kids have.

  10. Chuck

    I can’t wait for the Feds to expand their operations as this has become a daily occurrence in Missoula , the drug capital of Montana.

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