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War on Drugs Dismal Failure

14 August, 2013


Extra! Extra! Read all about it! War on Drugs deemed failure by Attorney General Eric Holder. But before we say why it was deemed a failure, let’s define exactly what the “War on Drugs” is.

The “War on Drugs” is the term commonly used for the prohibition, foreign military aid, and military intervention used by the US government (with participating allies) with the sole purpose of defining and reducing the illegal drug trade. The “War” includes a set of drug policies of the US intended to discourage production, distribution, and consumption of PSYCHOACTIVE (caps mine) drugs. The term “War on Drugs” was coined and made popular by President Richard M. Nixon (the 37th president of the US serving from 1/20/1969 to 8/9/1974).

However, the current administration (Obama) does not usually use the term “War on Drugs.” The new view is “Drug addiction is a DISEASE that can be successfully prevented and treated.”

Which brings us to yesterday’s announcement. (Evidently, Mr. Holder never got the memo that the Obama Administration was NOT using that term anymore.) Actually, it was two announcements, both having to do with the “War on Drugs.” The first one being: a NYC judge ruled the NYPD Stop and Frisk policy violates the constitution (4th and 14th Amendments) and disproportionately targets Blacks and Hispanics. THEN, Eric Holder announced the end of mandatory drug (federal) prison sentences for low level, nonviolent drug crimes.

Background to part one: Judge Shira Scheindlin issued a 198 page ruling on Monday regarding the Stop and Frisk law that stated 80% of the 4.4 million times it had been used between 2004-2012, the suspect was Black or Hispanic. The judge noted a specific racial bias. In the war on Marijuana alone, Blacks are four times more likely to be arrested (for simple possession) than Whites.

And to elaborate on what Mr. Holder had to say, federal prosecutors will no longer write down the amount of drugs in “small fry” drug cases. Federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws enacted during the Reagan Administration make it so judges HAVE GOT TO hand down very tough sentences for relatively minor offenses.

To Jack Murphy of the National Review this sounds reasonable enough. BUT, he adds, why would the Justice Department bother itself with “small fry” drug cases in the first place? If the indictment says the United States vs John Doe, wouldn’t we expect Mr. Doe’s behaviour to be sufficiently blatant to warrant Federal involvement? And those harsh minimum sentences? Isn’t that a matter for congress? Isn’t Mr. Holder’s plan just a new angle on ignoring the laws? If the laws need to be changed, then change them! Don’t ignore them!

So to end this, be sure to VOTE! Vote in legislators that support your causes. Vote out those that don’t. So register now! It’s THAT important!

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