War On Drugs

The "War on Drugs" is a term commonly applied to a set of U.S. policies that were enacted under the guise of discouraging the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal psychoactive drugs. The term was first used by U.S. president Ronald Reagan, and was later popularized by the media. In 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy declared that the global war on drugs had failed.

Let’s Drug Test Lawmakers Who Force the Poor to Take Drug Tests

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Jim Hightower: Pandering at all costs to the tea party fringe that dominates Republican elections, state lawmakers won’t let go of this demonstrably-bad idea of trying to humiliate people in need of a helping hand.

The American inJustice System

Michelle Alexander Ethan Nadelmann

Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow” will be speaking at the Justice on Trial Film Festival at Loyola Marymount University on Oct 20th.

The NYPD’s “New Low” That’s Not So New

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Soya Jung: From the War on Crime to the War on Drugs to the War on Terror, increasingly, this us-versus-them way of sorting humanity is what “makes” race today, by dictating whose lives are safeguarded by the alleged American promise of freedom and democracy, and whose are not.

Where I Come From

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Soya Jung: There are many different paths to political consciousness. But it always happens as part of asking ourselves, “Why?” and fighting alongside others to change the conditions in which we find ourselves.

Why Are More Blacks Busted for Marijuana Use

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Selena Teji: Nationally, African Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use than their white counterparts, despite using the drug at approximately the same rate.

Massive Mexico-U.S. Drug Trade: White Elephant in the Room

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Victoria Defrancesco Soto: Whether we want to admit it or not, any discussion revolving around the U.S. and Mexico must start and end with drugs. However, these next two days President Obama and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto will do everything in their power to dance around the issue and ignore the elephant in the room.

Will America See Marijuana Legalization in Our Lifetime?

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David Love: As is the case with same-sex marriage, the tide seems to be turning on public attitudes on marijuana. For the black community, with so many young people incarcerated for possessing small quantities of the drug, the stakes are high.

The Atrophied Conscience of Apartheid America

stop and frisk

Mark Naison: What is daily life for young people of color who are poor is quite literally out of sight and out of mind, and thereby unimaginable, not only for middle class and wealthy residents of cities, but for the mayors of thoses cities.

The Ugly Truth of Mandatory Drug Sentencing

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Seth Ferranti: Clarence Aaron is serving three life terms for a small-time college cocaine deal, another victim of heinous mandatory drug sentencing laws. If he’s waiting for Obama—or anyone else—for help, he’ll be waiting a long time.

Reduced Drug Possession Penalties Can Save Money and Lives

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Diana Zuñiga: Voters overwhelmingly believe that California’s prisons and jails are overcrowded and want more alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.

Mass Incarceration: Points of Agreement on the Right and the Left

susan burton

Diane Lefer: When a community sees daily injustice and doesn’t see the rule of law equally applied, it becomes morally and ethically easier to choose to live in a lawless way.

Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice System

Black Man

Sharon Kyle: While most Americans are cognizant of the disproportionate representation of Black and Brown men in our prisons, fewer are aware of criminal justice system’s selective enforcement of laws and selective use of penalties which often results in racially biased outcomes.

Coca: One More Thing US Drugs Policy Gets Wrong

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Diane Lefer: In Bolivia, as in much of the Andes, people understand that coca leaves are not the same as cocaine. The leaves, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, are used for tea, in candies, in flour for baking cakes, as an anaesthetic, and in beverages.

The Coming Revolt: When Will the Sleeping Giant Awake?

Mark Naison: You cannot beat down and repress such a large number of people without generating a response. Where it comes, and when it comes may be a mystery, but come it will. And when it does, it will shake this nation to its foundations.

Dr. Paul’s Patented Super Miracle Cure-All Remedy

super ron paul

Mark Halfmoon: Ron Paul stands for the most important things that the corporate beneficiaries of GOP rule desire: no regulation, no taxes, every-man-for-himself-only-the-strong-survive “free” market rule.

Real Immigration Reform Needed, Not Just Words

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Alvaro Huerta: Instead of sympathetic words for immigrants in a re-election, campaign-style format, we need for Obama to make immigration reform a top priority in lieu of pandering to a growing Latino electorate.

The New Jim Crow: Our Role in Incarceration Nation

Michelle Alexander

Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.

America’s “Shoot ‘Em Up, Lock ‘Em Up” Mentality Is Its Undoing

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David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.

American Drug Users Fund Deadly Cartels

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Andrea Nill: Over the past couple of weeks, thousands of Mexicans have taken to the streets to protest the bloody drug war that has ravaged Latin America and left 35,000 people dead since 2006 in Mexico alone.

More Black Men Are in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850

Black Man Exercise

Dick Price: “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday

Amnesty Shmamnesty

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

Adam Eran: Would the oligarchy that is the military-industrial-prison-media complex stoop so low as to incite a war, even promoting Iran as a backwater deserving of U.S. “shellacking”? And is the Pope really Catholic?

Scapegoating War Crimes in Af-Pak on Drugs

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Jeremy Kuzmarov: It might not be Reefer Madness redux, but the blame being put on drugs for civilian deaths in Afghanistan today has that same air of hysteria about it.

Losing the Drug War

Adam Eran: Criminalizing drug consumption, rather than bad behavior, leads to enormous corruption–both domestic and international–and disrespect for the law.

Marijuana Initiative Challenges Costly, Bloody Drug War

Tom Hayden: I support the November ballot initiative because our country’s long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.

California NAACP Right to Support Legalized Marijuana Prop 19

Alice Huffman

David Love: The California NAACP is under fire when it should be applauded for its courage. Alice Huffman is carrying out the mission of her organization, ensuring that it protects civil rights and remains relevant in changing times. Should we expect her to do less?

First Solve Prison Crisis, Then Fix California’s Budget

Gary Gilmore

Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.

How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste

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Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.

African-Americans Have Seven Times Greater Chance of Imprisonment

Marc Mauer, the Prison Project

Sherwood Ross: It is far more likely that in the late twentieth century, in contrast to earlier time, patterns of discrimination reflect unconscious biases rather than blatant attempts to oppress African Americans.

Obama’s Base Pact with Colombia Accelerates Dangerous Trend

Colombia FARC

Sherwood Ross: Although much of Latin America is in the vanguard of the “anti-corporate and anti-militarist global democracy movement,” Grandin writes, the Obama administration is “disappointing potential regional allies by continuing to promote a volatile mix of militarism and free-trade orthodoxy in a corridor running from Mexico to Colombia.” Grandin’s article in The Nation’sFebruary 8th issue is titled, “Muscling Latin America.”

800,000 Americans Busted Annually for Pot

Smokes

The drug war has also unleashed a torrent of racism in the form of unjust sentencing, which confines crack-cocaine users who are mostly black to prison for longer terms than powder snorters, who are mostly white.

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