Drug Policy: Needed Changes, A Continuing Problem.
by William Olkowski, PhD, 8.6.12.
Excerpts from: www.drugpolicy.org
“Penalties for the possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.” Jimmy Carter
With a pitch to join up and change the law also came a letter from George Soros, a board member, who wrote that “the Drug War is a dismal failure”. This is the conclusion of many but not those currently in charge of the Justice Department who is even continuing to harass the legal state approved drug dispensaries (16 states so far). Once you learn a few facts you can’t help but also agree with the Soros and Jimmy Carter, neither of whom can be considered un-American, right?:
The annual expenditure for the War on Drugs is conservatively estimated at $51 trillion. (At $40,000 per person per year to hold in prison that alone counts for 10 billion. The rest is police etc., right? That’s a lot of police. Even at $100,000/yr that’s 50,000 or so police salaries. I’d like to see this estimate spelled out). In any case its all wasted.
Number of people arrested in 2009 on nonviolent drug charges: 1,663,582. Of these almost 900,000 were for a marijuana law violation (54%).
Number of Americans in 2009 in prison for nonviolent drug charges: 2,424,279. That’s one in every 99 adults, the highest rate in the world.
Lost tax revenue estimated at $1.4 trillion if marijuana were legalized and taxed.
The highest murder rate in the world is in the city of Juarez, Mexico, the epicenter of Mexico’s drug war: 3,111 in 2010.
Number of students who lost federal financial aid and eligibility because of a drug conviction so far: ca. 200,000.
Fact: Marijuana has been proven helpful for treating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions.
Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients. Learn more about medical marijuana.
Selected Video from the 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference
- Gavin Newsom
, California Lieutenant Governor
- Ethan Nadelmann
, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance
- Alice Huffman
, President, California NAACP
- Pete White
, Co-Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network
Provided by the Bill Olkowski for President Campaign.
Note from Bill: I see that I am not alone in my conviction that the drug laws need changing, most critically to legalize marijuana. Now we need to understand who benefits from continuing the War on Drugs. The Rupulsicans are certainly for wars of all sorts, the Demos headed by Obama are clearly confused as has been the case for decades. But Congress is certainly off the wall.
Any hope therefore lies in my campaign for President, but I warn you I will not serve unless it’s a mandate. I will not rely on the supreme court to give me a marginal victory, and then tell everyone “It’s a mandate”. I won’t do it. It’s unethical. So along with this plank I must add a plank on ethics as opposed to a religion plank which seems to go along with any other campaign, unfortunately. Confusion leads to bad government. But we know this already? Right?