Pubdate: Mon, 13 Oct 2003
Source: Mobile Register (AL)
Copyright: 2003 Mobile Register.
Author: Mark Hardin


After reading the Sept. 22 editorial titled "Prisons will cost more if
problems unsolved," I was again reminded of the Register's amazing
ability to overstate the obvious, while ignoring underlying causes and

The American justice system, in its enormous entirety, is the largest
industry in America, with millions dependent on its continued
prosperity. The release of a few thousand prisoners may seem to be a
solution to some of our financial problems. But unless there is a
change in drug-offense policies, the beds of those former prisoners
will soon be filled again by the same courts that continue to bloat
our prisons at the whim of politicians and bureaucrats who cry for
extreme punishment (professing to do so on our behalf).

An inordinate number of prisoners are non-violent drug offenders, the
easiest of targets for police and prosecutors. After 30-plus years of
our government's "war on drugs," we have accomplished nothing and
there is no foreseeable end.

Now, well into the 21st century, many communities, local and state
governments, and news organizations are seeing through the years of
falsehoods and propaganda put forth by the government and are passing
local and statewide propositions that deal with drug use in a
reasonable and compassionate manner.

Some have taken the feds to the highest courts, willing to take on an
entrenched ideology founded on lies and ignorance and defended by
threat of reprisal and intimidation. Worldwide there is a change in
the wind. Many countries have abandoned old drug policies and adopted
intelligent, truthful and compassionate policies.

Medical organizations are at odds on marijuana's harm, but other
countries have at least given the green light to pharmaceutical
companies to research it objectively, and many new and useful products
will soon emerge on the European market.

We, on the other hand, still cling to the "reefer madness" propaganda
that fuels ignorance and blinds truth.


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