Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2009 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Joe Usher


Reading a Friday letter from a Boscobel reader about being tough on
people who use (and most likely are addicted to) cocaine and heroin, I
realized there's a prison in that community. My assumption is there's
a vested interest for the people living in this town to make sure
their prison stays full. The U.S. has by far the highest rate of
incarceration in the world because of this "get tough on drugs"
policy. It is obviously in the best interest of anyone whose job is
associated with our prison system to keep all sorts of drugs illegal.

This includes marijuana, a drug that has been proven to be less
harmful to society than alcohol. If we make pot legal, we may save
billions on incarceration, as well as increase tax revenues, but some
prison employees would probably lose their jobs.

There's job security in letting an addict serve their sentence without
any real rehabilitation so they return to society as bad or worse than
when they went to prison. This basically ensures that they will be
back in prison soon.

If we treated the disease of addiction like other diseases and
stressed treatment, we would have big growth in jobs within the
treatment and rehabilitation industry, one that requires education and
skills, unlike the prison system.

Joe Usher

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