Pot really didn’t appeal to me and I’ve never tried acid, heroin, magic mushrooms or ecstasy. Or meth, like the young kids are doing these days. That’s a bad one.
If I could do anything that I wanted with zero consequences, I would just like to drink and maybe take an occasional prescription painkiller and err…sleeping med. But I do have a point to this diatribe–
To paraphrase facts from Time Magazine:
The U.S. has 7-10 times as many prisoners as most other developed countries. We have 760 prisoners per 100, 000 citizens. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain has 153. Even developing countries with high crime have a third of U.S. numbers.
Why? America makes up just 5% of the world’s population, yet we have 25% of the world’s jailed prisoners. This has really happened in the last 30 years, and it’s all because of the so-called “War on Drugs.”
More than 50% of America’s federal inmates are in prison today on drug convictions, and 4-5 drug arrests are simply for possession.
Why do people possess drugs? Usually because they are addicts, and addiction is a disease. People use drugs as a symptom of an uncontrollable urge, just like if you have tuberculosis you cough! Are we going to arrest people for coughing? No, these people are sick and they need help.
There needs to be clarity between addicts and true drug traffickers. Big time criminals would be put out of business is pot is legalized. Personally, I don’t like pot and I don’t have a dog in this fight, but kids are going to prison for life on three strikes laws because of possession and their lives are over and we are all paying for it, because building and running jails is freakin’ expensive!
And we spend more on building jails than on building colleges to educate our kids. Truth. And guess who profits? The companies who have the deals to build and supply prisons, it about money, yo! Of course it is.
The careful legalization of some drugs would undermine the power of organized crime and it would cost a lot less money to treat these addicts who are sick and NEED HELP than to lock them up for life.
We’ve spent one trillion dollars fighting the war on drugs and it has completely failed to cut back on drug supply or use. To quote Time:
“In 2011, California spent 9.6 billion on prisons vs. 5.7 billion on the UC system and state colleges. Since 1980, California has built one college campus and 21 prisons. A college student costs the state $8,667 per year, a prisoner costs it $45,006 a year.”
I personally know a few mothers who have seen their kid’s lives destroyed by this system, and addiction is a family disease which is known to have genetic factors. I was in rehab with heavy drug users and I know many former addicts who also sold drugs who’ve gotten clean and are living beautiful, valuable sober lives now. It is possible!
I think it’s time for us to try another way.