FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Drug War at 40

by HELEN REDMOND

U.S.A.

United States of Addiction.

To the war on drugs.

40th Anniversary this year.

NixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObama.

Happy 40th anniversary?

Not.

40 can trigger a midlife crisis.

What have I done for 40 years of my life?

Not a question for the drug warriors.

Drug war vets look back on 4 decades of war with fondness.

Shame on these soldiers.

Their war is a war on poor, Black people. Not drugs.

Racist war.

Blacks represent 12 percent of the U.S. population.

Blacks are 37 percent of those arrested on drug charges.

Blacks are 59 percent of those convicted on drug charges.

Blacks account for 74 percent of drug offenders sentenced to prison.

A report titled “Targeting Blacks for Marijuana” revealed: “Young Blacks use marijuana at lower rates than young whites. Yet from 2004 to 2008, in every one of the 25 largest counties in California, Blacks were arrested for marijuana possession at higher rates than whites, typically at double, triple, or even quadruple the rate of whites.”

The war goes on, still.

Even under the first African-American president.

Tough on crime.

Tough love.

Tough luck.

Tough shit.

Do the crime. Do the time.

A lot of time.

Lock ’em up and throw away the key.

That’ll work.

MMS. Mandatory minimum sentence.

Douglas Lindsay, an army vet, sold crack to pay for college. He was implicated in a 14-person crack conspiracy. A first-time, nonviolent offender he was found guilty at trial and was originally sentenced to life in prison. Due to the crack retroactivity amendment his sentence was reduced to 27 years.

Tracy Cowan, a single mom, was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison for delivery/manufacture of cocaine and for possession of two firearms. Tracy’s boyfriend used her house to store drugs. Tracy did not sell drugs. Tracy had two guns. Her home had been burglarized twice. Her guns were locked in a bedroom closet.

What will you will be doing for the next 20 to 27 to 40 years of your life?

We know what Tracy and Douglas will be doing.

Rotting in prison.

Tracy won’t attend her three children’s graduations, be at their birthday parties, or go out for lunch with girlfriends.

Douglas won’t be sitting in a college classroom, get married, or go to a basketball game with buddies.

FAMM. Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

FAMM wants to free MMS prisoners from America’s drug gulags.

The punishment should fit the crime.

Like George Bush’s crime of killing Iraqis in an illegal war.

Or Obama’s crime of killing Afghans in an illegal war.

Or the undeclared war on Pakistan. US military predator drone strikes: For every militant killed, about 10 civilians die.

Hold on. Bush and Obama didn’t get a MMS.

No truth-in-sentencing.

No three strikes you’re out.

War crimes are different than drug crimes.

Some people do the crime, but not the time.

Drug users are demonized and despised. Humiliated and brutalized.

Predators, killers, dope fiends, thieves, scum, a scourge, crack heads.

Justice William O. Douglas wrote in an opinion: “To be a confirmed drug addict is to be one of the walking dead.”

A federal court called narcotics “worse than poisons” because they make men and women “moral perverts.”

The Delaware legislature seriously debated bringing back the public whipping post for drug offenders.

The House Armed Services Committee solution for prison overcrowding: Ship drug offenders to remote islands. Richard Ray (D-Ga.) said: “You can’t go anywhere. You won’t be interrupted by families coming to visit every weekend.”

Menace to society.

“Pot had helped and booze…maybe a little blow when you could afford it.”?Barack Obama admitted to drug use in his 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father.

Barack was addicted to nicotine.

He said: “I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No.”

Michelle told him to quit.

He did. She’s proud of him.

Cruel and unusual punishment.

Punish, punish, punish.

Did I say punish?

And punish some more.

Drug warriors say the darndest things.

William Bennett, former drug czar, endorsed the beheading of drug dealers.

Daryl Gates, former police chief of Los Angeles, said all drug users should be “taken out and shot.”

Nancy Reagan: “Just say no.”

Ronald Reagan: “We are making no excuses for drugs, soft, hard or otherwise. Drugs are bad and we are going after them.”

Bill Clinton: “I didn’t inhale.”

Barack Obama: “I inhaled frequently. I thought that was the point.”

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 stated: “It is the declared policy of the United States Government to create a drug-free America by 1995.”

Hmmm?2011-1995.

You do the math.

The Bill of Rights.

What Bill of Rights?

If you’re suspected of a drug crime you have no rights.

You’re wrong.

Police, and drug agents have the rights: To stop, detain and question you without warrant or probable cause on the streets and on the highway. Warrantless searches of homes.

Stop and frisk.

Buy and bust.

Roadblocks.

Snitches.

Informants.

Wiretapping.

Drug testing. Pee in this cup if you want the job.

Drug sniffing dogs.

“The law does not regard the dog’s sniffing as the equivalent of a search on the theory that there is no legitimate expectation of privacy in the odor of contraband?As a result, no right of privacy is invaded by the sniff, so the police do not need a search warrant or even “probable cause” to use the dog on a citizen.”

The drug warriors will not end, call off or stop the war on drugs.

Why?

Because the war on drugs is a cover for the pursuit of another agenda.

What’s on that agenda? Hint: It’s not a drug-free America.

Demonize and scapegoat drug users and Black people for social problems. It’s not unemployment, poverty, homelessness or lack of drug treatment.

Keep us fighting one another.

“They divided both to conquer each.” Frederick Douglass.

Give federal and state law enforcement more power to invade our lives.

Keep the sprawling prison-industrial complex in profitable business.

Lester Grinspoon: “Our society cannot be both drug-free and free.”

America needs a new civil war to end the war on drugs.

Helen Redmond is a freelance journalist and writes about health care and drugs. She can be reached at redmondmadrid@yahoo.com

 

 

Helen Redmond is an independent journalist and writes about the war on drugs and health care. She can be reached at redmondmadrid@yahoo.com

February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail