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Friday, February 20, 2009

Former S.F. Supe Silver Resigns From Sheriff's Department, Cites Desire to Legalize Drugs -- ALL Drugs

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 12:09 PM

click to enlarge Carol Ruth Silver has sued for peace in the War on Drugs
  • Carol Ruth Silver has sued for peace in the War on Drugs
The old commercial used to show an egg sizzling in a pan and note "This is your brain on drugs -- any questions?" We always wondered how they knew we like our brains sunny-side up. But former San Francisco Supervisor has a better question -- why are you wasting everyone's time?

Silver announced her departure, as of 5 p.m. today, from her post as director of prisoner legal services in San Francisco's Sheriff's Department. In her three-page letter (which you can read here), Silver informs Sherriff Mike Hennessey that she can no longer in good conscience keep her position and tacitly abide by the state's drug prohibition:

"I have found myself having to bite my tongue in talking to some prisoners about their charges -- at least half of them with nonviolent drug charges.  I find it difficult to discuss the financial or child custody problems of a prisoner, when I cannot look them in the eye and justify their being in jail."
Reached at her law office in late morning, Silver -- a supervisor from 1978 to 1989 -- didn't hold back when discussing her disdain against the War on Drugs. She wants to legalize them, each and every one.

"All drugs should be legalized, regulated, and taxed. They should be put under the aegis of our medical professionals as is done in the Netherlands and in England -- places where the use of drugs is much less than in the United States," said Silver, who has since joined Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "What has happened by virtue of the War on Drugs is we have vastly increased the amount of drugs coming in here and being used."

Silver continued that putting drugs like heroin or PCP in the hands of pharmacists as opposed to streetcorner dealers would evaporate the drug trade rapidly. The system as-is is hypocritical and racist -- she notes that the percentage of minorities incarcerated on drug charges is disproportionate to statistics regarding drug use among races, and penalties for "black" drugs like crack tend to be harsher than for "white" drugs like cocaine.

The first thing Silver would do, if she had her druthers, is open up the jails and boot out anyone serving time for non-violent marijuana-related crimes and get them back into "regular, tax-paying society."

Calls to Sheriff Mike Hennessey regarding his take on legalizing all drugs were answered by his Chief of Staff Eileen Hirst. She didn't dare andwer those questions on his behalf, but did note Hennessey thinks Silver "did a great job while she was here."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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