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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2008 Zogby Poll - Three Out of Four Americans said the War on Drugs is Failing

Is it time to reform our criminal justice system and how we fight the war on drugs? Let's face it, our criminal justice system has a fatal flaw and as a result people are imprisoned needlessly all in the name of America's "War on Drugs". It is unacceptable that the United States has 5 percent of the world's population, but houses 25 percent of the world's prisoners. The majority of those prisoners are low level offenders generally incarcerated because of drugs; half of federal prisoners and 21 percent of state prisoners are locked up because of something drug related. Perhaps it is time for rational debate on drug policy, that's what the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) seek. In a 2008 Zogby poll, three out of four Americans said the war on drugs is failing.

Overall, Congress is afraid to address the drug war subject because it can be political suicide; the lack of involvement has allowed this problem to fester and now we have a criminal justice nightmare. "Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, and 35 other senators are sponsoring the National Criminal Justice Commission Act (NCJCA) to establish a blue ribbon commission to review our criminal justice system", reports the Desmoines Register. Sen. Chuck Grassley wants, regarding the bill, to prohibit any discussion or examination of the possibility that drugs, including medical marijuana, should be decriminalized or legalized despite there being evidence that removing prohibition could help out the criminal justice system and help fight the cartels.

More and more people are arguing that if any real change is going to happen with the criminal justice system in America it will start with changing how we fight the war on drugs. We have to ask ourselves what the cost of this war is, and why people who belong in drug treatment are ending up in prison. Prison is no place for a low level drug offender, and those are the people the war on drugs is targeting. If we spent as much time on going after the cartel as we did individual drug addicts perhaps we would see some positive developments. It does not seem like we can afford to ignore any suggestions, even if they involve some form of legalization, as long as it can help.

Senator Webb Introduces Bill to Overhaul America's Criminal Justice System Video. While this video is almost 10 minutes long, Senator Webb eloquently addresses the issues discussed above.

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