Pubdate: Thu, 10 Jun 2010
Source: Huffington Post (US Web)
Copyright: 2010 HuffingtonPost com, Inc.
Author: Tony Newman, Communications Director, Drug Policy Alliance
Referenced: The video


Andrew Breitbart's popular right-wing website, Big Hollywood, just 
published a blistering attack on the musician Sting, philanthropist 
George Soros, and formerly incarcerated activist Anthony Papa for 
appearing in an anti-drug war video -- a two-minute promo where 
people share their feelings about the failed drug war and the reasons 
they support the Drug Policy Alliance.

Sting states that he believes in the right to "sovereignty over one's 
mind and body" and that "the war on drugs represents an extraordinary 
violation of human rights." Montel expresses his view that, "Whether 
you use drugs or not, you deserve to be treated with kindness and 
dignity." Soros, meanwhile, explains that he supports the Drug Policy 
Alliance because the organization "promotes harm reduction" and 
"fosters debate on drug policy." Anthony Papa talks about his 
experience spending 12 years in prison for a first time nonviolent 
drug offense.

Schlichter rips into all and everyone and appears disgusted that 
Sting, Soros or Montel would have the gall to think that they have 
any insights into this issue.

He accuses Sting of wanting "drug dealing scumbags" to run free while 
he "retreats behind his gates and armed guards."

He argues that Anthony Papa made out great by spending 12 years of 
his life locked up for taking part in a small-time drug deal where he 
was set to make $500. He says that Papa became an artist behind bars 
"on the taxpayer's dime" and that "some Hollywood half-wit even 
scooped up the rights to his inspiring story." Schlichter claims to 
speak for "most of us" and asks, "why only 12 years?"

He even mocks the video for claiming that the drug war is a war on 
people of color, ignoring the fact that African-Americans are 13 
times more likely to end up incarcerated, even though they use and 
sell drugs at rates similar to white people.

Schlichter's rant reminds me of Rush Limbaugh, who scoffed at the 
idea that African-Americans are disproportionately arrested on drug 
charges, and suggested that the solution was to arrest more white 
people. But once Limbaugh was busted for sending his maid out to 
score him OxyContin and it came out that he was addicted to pills, he 
quickly changed his tune about the benefits of sending more white 
people to jail. I imagine the same gross hypocrisy would be true for 
Schlichter. If he or someone he loved got busted for using or selling 
drugs, would he still ask "why only 12 years?"

Schlichter thinks he really nails it when he asks Sting to expand the 
discussion and get the opinions of Michael Jackson, Health Ledger, 
Brad Renfro, DJ AM, and Brittany Murphy. "Oh wait, they're all dead." 
How ironic that Schlichter tries to pin these tragic overdose deaths 
on drug war critics. It is under drug prohibition that we have record 
numbers of overdose deaths, and it is advocates like the Drug Policy 
Alliance who are offering real and proven solutions to prevent 
overdose fatalities and save lives.

Last month, the Associated Press dropped a bomb on America's longest 
running war. The headline said it all: "The US Drug War has Met None 
of its Goals." The first sentence of the piece asks, "After 40 years, 
the United States' War on Drugs has cost $1 trillion dollars and 
hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what?"

Schlichter pretends to be the guy in tune with "the people" and that 
the speakers in the video are living in a privileged bubble, but in 
reality, it is he who is out of touch and on the wrong side of history.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake