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News (Media Awareness Project) - US NJ: PUB LTE: War On Drugs Follows Losing Strategy
Title:US NJ: PUB LTE: War On Drugs Follows Losing Strategy
Published On:2012-01-15
Source:Gloucester County Times (NJ)
Fetched On:2012-01-17 06:00:27

To the Editor:

Recently, I received a form letter asking for support of the Drug
Policy Alliance in its efforts to end the "oewar on drugs" and
replace it with a sensible policy that works. In addition to the
request for money, many very disturbing facts were presented. These
numbers can be found on the Internet at its website,

Annual spending by the United States in the war on drugs is more than
$51 billion.

In 2009 there were 1,663,600 arrests for non-violent drug

There were more than 200,000 students denied financial aid because of
drug offenses.

And, there are many more startling numbers!

Consider the cost of keeping non-violent drug offenders in prison and
the negative therapy that incarceration provides. Compare the wisdom
of preventing young offenders from ever going to college and replacing
it with a prison term.

I ask this: In a democracy, why must dedicated people and
organizations need to beg the public for money to get our elected
leaders to adopt desperately needed reforms?

Sure, the drug merchants make out like the bootleggers in the 1920s
when selling liquor was a crime. They will spend plenty to keep the
war going. Is that why Congress pursues a losing strategy? Are they
benefiting too?

Certainly, revising our drug policy will require some study and
judgment, but not a whole lot.

How nice it would be if drug policy were discussed by our
representatives and senators in a public meeting or by someone in the
print media. It would be revealing for us to know where our elected
leaders stand.

What do our New Jersey senators and members of Congress have to say
about this?

Jim Sherman

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