Pubdate: Wed, 09 Feb 2000
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2000 The Denver Post
Contact:  1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202
Fax: (303) 820.1502
Author: Patrick L. Lilly


Congratulations to The Post for endorsing a reconsideration of
drug-possession sentencing ( "Revisiting drug laws," Jan. 17 editorial).
It's encouraging that you now realize that the drug war against the American
people is a "travesty" - not to mention a disgrace.

My only caveat is with your caveat - you withhold support for a prison
moratorium, saying that stopping expansion of the runaway prison industry
would cause more inhumane treatment. I'm as concerned about the barbaric
treatment of prisoners as anyone. But you've got the arrow of causality
reversed. The government will only stop abusing millions of non-criminal
Americans who ingest currently banned drugs when we stop making it possible
to lock up ever-increasing numbers of people in ever-increasing numbers of

To use the currently trendy phrase, we need to "send a message" to the
operators of the drug war and the prison industry that their free ride is
over. As long as they have lots of prison cells, they will keep on rounding
up more and more people to put in them.

Cheyenne Canon
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