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