Can we please wake up and admit that our drug policies are evil? Not just mistaken and ineffective, but out and out wrong?
We have more people in jail here for drugs than Europe has for all crime put together. A huge portion of our population, especially ghetto folk, have had their lives ruined. But even more are lucky and get away with it.
Clearly, the laws aren’t fair. They’re enforced selectively. Everybody has a friend or family member who uses– cops and prosecutors too– but we don’t think of them as criminals. They are people with weaknesses, like smokers or drinkers. We’d never turn them in to the police. The rich or the well-connected can “get help”. Celebrities’ pictures are on TV, checking in and out of rehab.
No wonder kids think they can experiment without getting caught. But some will be caught, and charged– far more ghetto folk or marginalized groups than elites, though they use about equally. And far far more who are poor will go to jail.
Most artists,like politicians, admit that when they was young they broke the drug laws. But they were lucky: they weren’t caught. Not so a 50 year old dance teacher who is the uncle of a friend of mine. He was just convicted for possession. My friend told me her uncle used marijuana for back pain. Now he’s a “criminal”. He’ll even lose his right to vote! Please, people who still can vote? Vote against these unjust laws. My outrage isn’t personal. I’m drug-phobic, allergic to alcohol, and such a compulsive law-abider that I’ve never even had a loitering penalty! But I know this War on Drugs is a travesty. It must end, and if celebrities’ and politicians’ “confessions” means the’ll work to end it, then I’m going to work hard for this election.
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