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American Drug War Economics – Vol.1

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Image by warrantedarrest via Flickr

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 neighborhoods in America:  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.

Visitors entrance to Utah State Prison's Wasat...
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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.

American Drug War Economics – Volume 1
Ending drug prohibition and focusing on addiction as a sickness, like alcohol and prescription drugs, could save the U.S. economy and millions of lives. Please pass this video on to as many people as you can. We need your help to end the Drug War.,,; Produced by Kevin Booth and Ryan Kaye
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Let’s get started.

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Ma and Pa Clinton Flog Uppity Black Man

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Why Hillary’s race comments matter

I saw two groups excusing Senator Clinton’s suggestion that LBJ made Martin Luther King, Jr., successful.

The first comprised middle-class white people, who reverted to the rolling of eyes and labeling the controversy “just politics” (the implication being that no sensible person would see the comment as anything significant—along the lines of “these blacks are so touchy!“*) The second set was the older, authoritarian set of African-American civil rights leaders (their implication being “The Clintons are icons; we’ll not allow that talk.”)

Ishmael ReedA deeper view was offered by author Ishmael Reed: “[Bill] Clinton was able to seduce black audiences, who ignored some of his actions that were unfriendly, even hostile, to blacks.”

Reed is brilliant (the headline above is his, for instance), and I encourage you to ponder his entire post, which details the Clinton record, then thumbnails the history of black America’s rocky relationship with white feminism. To pique your curiosity, a couple of excerpts, followed by a video of Hillary’s comments: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

January 18, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Politics, Poverty, Race, Religion