Emancipation Proclamation Needed to Free Drug War Prisoners

Emancipation Proclamation Needed to Free Drug War Prisoners

Prohibition is ending. One can feel it in the air. The elections in Colorado and Washington show that “the cork is starting to move.” In the metaphor from the ending of our earlier Prohibition of alcohol, the champagne bottle’s cork is slowly but steadily getting ready to pop. Soon we will be looking back at our current policies with the same level of disbelief, as we do with the witch hunts of the Middle Ages.

This breath of fresh air, so long in coming, gives hope that our society can rise above the desire for scapegoats, the need for politicians who pander to our most hateful instincts, and our urge to use force and violence against those we disagree with — for that is what we authorize when we make something a matter of criminal law.

Richard Nixon’s “War on Drugs,” which began as a thinly-veiled assault on political adversaries, has now resulted in over 30,000,000 arrests for marijuana, over 40,000,000 arrests if you include all “controlled substances.” At any given time, as many black men are — largely for marijuana — under the control of the Criminal Justice Industry — prison, parole, and probation — as were slaves at the time of the Civil War.

Our federal government is in the same position vis-a-vis the states as it was with the Fugitive Slave Act. Colorado, Washington, and the 18 medical marijuana states are in direct confrontation with the Feds over fundamental principles of Liberty.

How repressive will the Feds be in this? What is Mr. Obama planning to do? His record last year was terrible, an acquiescence in policies designed to create enormous human misery. But he is faced with a unique opportunity to change his ways. It’s a new day, and the leadership role on this issue is sitting there, open for his use.

The most hopeful thing he could do, would be to expend some political capital, and work with Congress to bring a complete end to Prohibition. Short of that however, there is one thing he can do today with a stroke of his pen. Mr. Obama can issue pardons to those in federal prison, and to those previously convicted whose lives have been so negatively impacted by their criminal record.

It is true that his clemency powers cover only the federal system, while many of this War’s victims suffer at the state level. Here too though, his leadership can be effective, setting an example for governors, encouraging them to follow the right path. On January 1st, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. January 1st, this year, marked the sesquicentennial. What finer tribute, and show of decency could there be, than to act now?

Free the drug prisoners, Mr. President.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Kyle/100001700224506 Malcolm Kyle

    Here follows an extract from “Notes on Democracy” by Henry Louis Mencken, written in 1926, during alcohol prohibition (1919-1933):

    The Prohibitionists, when they foisted their brummagem cure-all upon the country under cover of the war hysteria, gave out that their advocacy of it was based upon a Christian yearning to abate drunkenness, and so abolish crime, poverty and disease. They preached a [crime, poverty and disease free] millennium, and no doubt convinced hundreds of thousands of naive and sentimental persons, not themselves Puritans, nor even democrats.

    That millennium, as everyone knows, has failed to come in. Not only are crime, poverty and disease undiminished, but drunkenness itself, if the police statistics are to be believed, has greatly increased. The land rocks with the scandal. Prohibition has made the use of alcohol devilish and even fashionable, and so vastly augmented the number of users. The young of both sexes, mainly innocent of the cup under license, now take to it almost unanimously.

    In brief, Prohibition has not only failed to work the benefits that its proponents promised in 1917; it has brought in so many new evils that even the mob has turned against it. But do the Prohibitionists admit the fact frankly, and repudiate their original nonsense? They do not. On the contrary, they keep on demanding more and worse enforcement statutes — that is to say, more and worse devices for harassing and persecuting their opponents.

    The more obvious the failure becomes, the more shamelessly they exhibit their genuine motives. In plain words, what moves them is the psychological aberration called sadism. They lust to inflict inconvenience, discomfort, and, whenever possible, disgrace upon the persons they hate — which is to say, upon everyone who is free from their barbarous theological superstitions, and is having a better time in the world than they are.

    They cannot stop the use of alcohol, nor even appreciably diminish it, but they can badger and annoy everyone who seeks to use it decently, and they can fill the jails with men taken for purely artificial offences, and they can get satisfaction thereby for the Puritan yearning to browbeat and injure, to torture and terrorize, to punish and humiliate all who show any sign of being happy. And all this they can do with a safe line of policemen and judges in front of them; always they can do it without personal risk.

  • rob

    we would all love to believe that prohibition is ending, but, the left wing is still very restrictive about marijuana and all drugs except alcohol and tobacoo cause these companys give big bonuses to lobbyist who keep marijuana illegal. which is kinda dumb honestly. i would hope they could see the extent of profits and taxes that could be made from incorperating the herb into the daily business. imagine the profits a company like budwiser or phillip morris could make if they branded a marijuana product. by a joint get a 32 for half price lol. get a pack of pm fine grade m.cigarrettes and get a pack of smokes 1/2 off. and so on. the money to be made is astronomical. just ask the cartels. therebillion dollar industries based on prohibition. and the us has yet to stop them. or make money off of them. all they do is spend money to catch em’ spend money to charge them and trial cost, then inprison them for ten years on our dime. then send them home and they get right back to business. jeez what justice. and now there going as far inprisioning people with deadly/fatal diseases and letting them die in prison cause they were doing a legitamate business. what shame

  • rob

    i say if marijuana is going to continue in prohibition then alcohol prohibition should be re-enforced. cause i can count the number of deaths from marijuana with no hands cause there are none. but the amount of deaths from alcohol alone is more than even the computers can count. same for tobacoo.

  • http://churchofsmoke.org/ Jose

    Prohibitionist politicians who took an oath to defend the Constitution should be charged and tried with treason and if found guilty should be executed or receive life in prison without parole.

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  • dag800

    Ron Paul spoke with CNN railing
    against the U.S. war on drugs.

    “This war on drugs has been a detriment to personal liberty and it’s
    been a real abuse of liberty,” Paul said. “Our prisons are full with
    people who have used drugs who should be treated as patients — and they’re
    non-violent. Someday we’re gonna awake and find out that the prohibition we are
    following right now with drugs is no more successful, maybe a lot less
    successful, than the prohibition of alcohol was in the ’20s.”

    • http://www.jackdraak.com/ Jack Draak

      …for those paying attention, there’s no need to wait to see the damage done by the War on Drugs…. the problem remains those whose eyes remain closed to the reality that surrounds them.

  • Johnny oneye

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UtNF-Le2L0

    Break the Taboo 1hr YouTube

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  • Bruce Tanner

    Yes! Excellent…

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