American Drug War Economics – Vol.1
When I was a college kid in the 1970s, buying pot was easier than buying cigarettes (though, to be honest, I don’t remember ever buying either!)
Probably, it hasn’t changed. But here’s what has: I didn’t know of one single person who’d gone to prison over it. It’s a whole lot easier to end up in prison today.
Kids, just like kids of my generation, act like kids. But “get tough” laws are on the books now. They rip kids’ futures away, and give them instead a bed in the most violent, gang-dominated, drug-permeated: our prisons.
When they get out, they’re marked. Getting a job is tough. Getting scholarships is nearly impossible (“get-tough” legislators having pre-wired the FAFSA to identify criminal records), so education is almost out of the question. Careers that require certifications are mostly closed. The options they had planned for are gone.
For all that, what have we, as a society, gained? Nada.
These horrific laws, easily passed and rarely opposed (what politician wants to be labeled “soft on drugs“?), which incarcerate many of our best and brightest and then leave them with few non-poverty options, have utterly failed to reduce drug use. And they have cost us a fortune.
Meanwhile, your legislators are looking for more billions to build more prisons because this juggernaut crushes kids by the thousands every single day. No other nation imprisons as many of its own as we do in “the land of the free.”
It will continue until we stop it. And, since lots of people make lots of money keeping things just the way they are, it won’t stop easily.
But here’s one place—of many—to begin.
Let’s get started.
Tags: drug+use, war+on+drugs, economics+of+drugs, drug+war+economics, mandatory+sentencing, drug+laws, tobacco+industry, alcohol+industry, prison+overcrowding, funding+prisons, taxes+prisons, money+prisons, building+prisons, US+prisons, incarceration, recidivism, get-tough+laws, crime, criminal+justice, new+prison, incarceration+rate, addiction, imprisonment+drugs, Monte Asbury
Written by Monte
December 8, 2008 at 1:13 pm
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