Pubdate: Thu, 15 Aug 2013
Source: Regional News (IL)
Contact:  2013 Regional Publishing Corp
Note: Published Thursday
Author: James E. Gierach


Dear Editor:

Finally, the criminal justice pendulum starts to swing back toward the middle.

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced in a speech before 
the American Bar Association that the hallmarks and cornerstones of 
injustice - racial discrimination, contracting civil liberties, the 
tying of the hands of federal judges in the sentencing process, and 
the imposition of three-time-loser laws and mandatory-minimum 
sentencing for non-violent criminals and non-violent drug offenders 
with reckless abandon as if Americans were made of money to waste on 
prisons - are about to end.

Unmentioned in press reports of Eric Holder's speech and the speech 
itself are the efforts of people like Julie Stewart and organizations 
like hers, Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). For 25 years, 
these thoughtful organizations have been calling for the reform that 
is now finally in sight. This reform will put an end to draconian 
sentencing of non-violent drug offenders, a public policy pothole 
that historically collected politicians' votes, churned public 
opinion into thoughtless frenzy, wasted limited public revenues, 
accomplished racially discriminatory arrest, prosecution and 
incarceration law-enforcement practices, and supported the economic 
interests of drug gangs and drug cartels that feed off the 
intolerance of the war on drugs that made violent crime the new 
incurable American cancer.

Thanks to other organizations like Law Enforcement Against 
Prohibition (LEAP) (, Students for a Sensible drug Policy 
(SSDP), National Organization Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the 
Marijuana Policy Project (MMP), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and 
many more, hope is on the horizon for resuscitation of individual 
freedom and the recovery of society.

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, the 
prescription of medical marijuana written by the voters and state 
legislatures in 20 states, the decriminalization of all drugs for 
personal use in Portugal in 2000, and the rapidly coming legalization 
of marijuana and others drugs in Uruguay, Chili, Equator, Colombia, 
Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rico, all these developments are a bright 
light at the end of the long, dark drug-war tunnel - Renaissance 
after a self-inflicted World Drug War. Even the United Nations and 
its three drug-prohibition treaties that are the "Fountainhead of 
Drug Prohibition" worldwide may succumb to reason, reality and 
reform. A summit worth the price to see

James T. Gierach, Palos Park
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