Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Something I Wish I'd Said

"On January 20th 2009, either the president of the United States will be a man who used to snort coke to ease his blues, or the First Lady will be a former drug addict who stole from charity to get her next fix. In this presidential campaign, there are dozens of issues that have failed to flicker into the debate, but the most striking is the failing, flailing 'War on Drugs.' Isn't it a sign of how unwinnable this 'war' is that, if it was actually enforced evenly, either Barack Obama or Cindy McCain would have to skip the inauguration -- because they'd be in jail?

At least their time in the slammer would feature some familiar faces: they could share a cell with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and some 46 percent of the US population." -Johann Hari at The Huffington Post

I've made my views on the drug war fairly clear here, here and here so I won't go into the specifics again except to just say that while I understand most of the forces that are at work keeping this whole farce alive I still feel almost surreal when I think about how negatively the drug war is affecting our society along with the almost complete indifference of the American people and their elected leaders.

To his credit, Barack Obama has publicly stated that he wants to decriminalize cannabis and that he will not let the Justice Department prosecute medicinal cannabis users who are abiding by local and state laws. Predictably, John McCain has changed his position on medical cannabis from one of support for patient's and state's rights to one of outright criminalization and federal prosecution. I don't see Obama legalizing cannabis or any other now illicit drugs (I'm realistic on this point) but a ceasing of the excessively destructive federal raids on medical dispensaries and the relentless prosecution of millions of Americans for a victimless, nonviolent crime would be a welcome change; a change that the "Maverick" will almost certainly be too chickenshit and beholden to special interests to even consider.

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