Pubdate: Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2009 Boulder Weekly
Author: Ralph Givens


(Re: "A fine to fit the crime," cover story, June 4.) Drug czar Gil 
Kerlikowske's claim that drug prohibition is a "war on drugs" or a 
"war on a product," and that "We're not at war with people in this 
country" is proved to be a lie by the hundreds of drug busts 
targeting people every month. We hear daily reports of 194 people 
arrested in one operation and 73 more in another, and this cannot be 
explained away with dissembling remarks about "a war on product." 
Drugs are not going to prison, people are.

The U.S. incarcerates 2.4 million people - the most of any country in 
the world. We imprison one out of 31 adults - the worst rate in the 
world. A third of our prisoners are in for drugs, and 60 percent are 
non-violent users, not sellers. We arrested more than 775,000 people 
for marijuana possession last year alone. (Source: Congress' Joint 
Economic Committee.)

Many petty "drug criminals" get more prison time than a conviction for
malicious castration, second-degree rape, stealing $100,000, robbing a
bank, holding up someone with a shotgun or even an act of terrorism,
such as contaminating a city's water supply. By any sane definition,
this is a "war on people."

Ralph Givens

Daly City, Calif.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake