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         Drug War Archives    War on Drugs [Home]
Prohibition's Pillars Starting to Crumble
(Cynthia Tucker, St. Petersburg Times, November 4, 2009)
The nation's approach to drugs has turned us into a penal colony. We lock up more of our citizens per capita than brutal dictators like Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro. . . . Much of the social cost has been borne by black men, who use illegal drugs at rates about equal to whites but are nearly 12 times as likely to be imprisoned for drug convictions as adult white men . . . That's because lazy tactics encourage police to focus on penny-ante street dealers to pump up their arrest records. . . . [Also see: One Drug Arrest Made Every 18 Seconds] . . . That practice can have tragic consequences, as it did in 2006, when Atlanta police fraudulently targeted the home of an innocent elderly woman, Kathryn Johnston, and shot her dead. . . . the streets are not made safer when we put non-violent offenders in prison for selling or possessing small quantities of illegal drugs. . . . Counting local, state and federal spending, the nation fights this losing war at an annual cost of more than $40 BILLION . . . Yet, the violence associated with the drug trade is fueled by the illegality of the product, just as it was during Prohibition.

posted by Lorenzo 5:08 AM

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