Pubdate: Fri, 18 Nov 2011
Source: Lake County Record-Bee (Lakeport, CA)
Copyright: 2011 Greg Blinn
Author: Greg Blinn


In 1972 the Consumers Union issued an extensive report on the state 
of drug use in America called Licit & Illicit Drugs, in which they 
made several recommendations including: One. Stop publicizing the 
horrors of the "drug menace," such as calling marijuana the "Killer 
Weed." Two. Stop calling alcohol and tobacco essentially non-drugs 
while demonizing other chemicals. Three. Stop pursuing the goal of 
stamping out all illicit drug use.

Needless to say we continue our War on Drugs with gusto and now have 
one in a hundred of our adults in jail or prison making America the 
most jail happy nation in the world. From here you and I can all fill 
in our own statistics and ideas about the success or failure of the 
War on Drugs just as we can continue to publish in this paper the 
fill-in-the-blanks stories of people on probation being approached by 
police in their homes, the police finding implements of drug use, 
cash on hand in the hundreds of dollars, and the probationer being 
carted off to the Hill Road Jail for another round of another useless 
round. We are then asked to report any other suspicious activities so 
the police can arrest even more sad-sacks.

Now enters the case of Glenn Neasham. We have the Publisher of this 
paper asking "Where's the crime?" We have Dean and Jeanne calling 
Glenn a "trustworthy, honest, and devoted religious, church-going 
family man." And we have Rosemary Hyden writing that Glenn "is the 
victim of the new witch hunt." But Glenn Neasham has been declared 
guilty by a jury of his peers with all of the consequences that fall 
from this decision such as loss of his business, possible jail time 
and his poor children living without a father. We can easily 
sympathize with the white business man.

Perhaps now we can see more clearly the Human Rights Watch statement 
of 2000: "The racially disproportionate nature of the war on drugs is 
just not devastating to black Americans. It contradicts faith in the 
principles of justice and equal protection of the laws that should be 
the bedrock of any constitutional democracy; it exposes and deepens 
the racial fault lines that continue to weaken the country and belies 
its promise as a land of opportunity; and it undermines faith among 
all races in the fairness and efficacy of the criminal justice system."

Greg Blinn

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