War on drugs threat to our rights and waste of taxdollars
The drug war is destroying our liberties and rights. It must and has to end. Take this example:
"Michelle Collette of Hanover, Massachusetts, sold Percocet, a prescription painkiller. "I was planning to do it just once," she says, "but the money was so easy. And I thought: it’s not heroin." Then she became addicted to her own wares. She was unhappy with her boyfriend, she explains, but did not want to split up with him, because she did not want their child to grow up fatherless, as she had. So she popped pills to numb the misery. Before long, she was taking 20-30 a day.
When Ms Collette and her boyfriend, who also sold drugs, were arrested in a dawn raid, the police found 607 pills and $901 in cash. The boyfriend fought the charges and got 15 years in prison. In a plea bargain Ms Collette was sentenced to seven years, of which she served six.
"I don’t think this is fair," said the judge. "I don’t think this is what our laws are meant to do. It’s going to cost upwards of $50,000 a year to have you in state prison. Had I the authority, I would send you to jail for no more than one year…and a [treatment] programme after that." But mandatory sentencing laws gave him no choice."
The fact is that we are spending billions of dollars in the U.S. trying to look tough against low level drug users or dealers. Many of those who decry large government are the strongest supporters of these basically, made up crimes. Than again, many of them also favor imprisoning gay men for consensual sex.
By the way, that link to that article has many other examples of how we lock up, as a society, people too long for relatively minor crimes. For example, it is mentioned that prosecutors can offer someone a lesser sentence to testify against a person, or give a name, but defense attorneys have no such leverage.