“What we have here is the greatest collection thus far of ex-presidents and prime ministers calling very clearly for decriminalization and experiments with legal regulation,” … “It will be a watershed moment.”

Danny Kushlick, spokesman for the drug policy center Transform

The entire rest of the world sees what is going on in this country.  They see that we have more people in jail than any other nation in the world.  They see the toll this war is taking on human life in both Mexico and the United States.  They see the mass graves on our southern border, they see the ATF agents giving Mexican drug lords guns and they see our troops guarding the poppie fields in Afghanistan.  My only question is, Why don’t we?

The American public is clueless on this issue.  We have a “Law and Order” TV mentality when it comes to crime.  We view everyone in jail as deserving it.  They sold drugs afterall!  They probably killed someone too for all we know!  They deserve what they get!  That mentality is exactly the problem. 

What Law and Order never shows you is exactly how much it costs to keep those people in jail.  In my state of MA it costs 47 thousand a year.  We have 11,000 people in jail right now.  That means we spend over 500 million per year to keep those people in jail.  Half of those people are in jail for drug related issues.  So we are paying over 250 million to keep people in jail for doing what they want to do.  That is insanity.

Other countries actually try to help people get off drugs, not America.  We lock drug addicts next to murders and bank robbers.  If that isn’t enough, we give them mandatory sentences.  So even if they are on their best behavior while behind bars, we release violent offenders before non-violent drug offenders.  How does that make sense?  In Boston we just had a cop murdered a few months ago by a violent offender out on parole.  I am sure that cop would be alive today if they let a drug user out in his place. 

Drugs are not the answer, they are an escape.  We need to do something about the drug epidemic in our society.  I just don’t think endlessly throwing people in jail because they have a problem.  It is a waste of everyone’s, time, energy and money. 

In these tough times we tell everyone that they need to tighten their belts.  Everyone that is but the military, jails and the intelligence industry.  It has been boom times for them for the past 40 years.  No matter how down in the dumps our economy is, we always have plenty of money for bombs, jails and warrentless wiretapping.  Does that really sound like “The Land of the Free”?  Sadly we never even ask ourselves that question.

We are like children.  We stick our heads in the sand and we allow our government to do whatever they want to us, as long as they say they are keeping us safe.  Now it has gone too far and we still refuse to pull our heads up.  Well it is beyond time.  We need to start saving money.  THAT is national security.  It is also something we cannot get as long as we continue to lock so many of our citizens in jail with violent offenders.  It makes our society more violent and it needs to end.  The rest of the world sees it, why don’t we?

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