Tag Archives: legalization

How to end the epidemic of incarceration

There are historical reasons for why we lock up so many people, some going back a century or more, and some starting in 1980 and 2001. Knowing what they are (and what they are not) lets us see what we can do to end the epidemic of incarceration that is damaging education and agriculture in Georgia.

Adam Gopnik wrote for the New Yorker dated 30 January 2012, The Caging of America: Why do we lock up so many people?

More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then.
In Georgia, 1 in 13 of all adults is in jail, prison, probation, or parole: highest in the country (1 in 31 nationwide). Georgia is only number 4 in adults in prison, but we’re continuing to lock more people up, so we may get to number 1 on that, too.
Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that. In the past two decades, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education.

And we can’t afford that, especially not when we’re cutting school budgets. That graph of education vs. incarceration spending is for California. Somebody should do a similar graph for Georgia.

The article does get into why we lock up so many people: Continue reading

Why a private prison would close: a majority of the American people favor legalizing marijuana use

For the first time ever, a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana use, which is one of the major dangers to CCA’s private prison business plan, according to CCA itself.

Emily Ekins wrote for Reason-RUPE 18 October 2011, New Gallup Survey: A Majority of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use

The latest Gallup poll shows a record high of 50 percent of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana use. This follows a consistent upward trend, picking up speed in 2006 when 36 percent of Americans favored marijuana legalization.

CCA wrote in its 2010 Annual Report to the SEC: Continue reading

Drug war fail: devastating consequences —Global Commission on Drug Policy

Stop locking up drug users who harm no others, legalize drugs starting with marijuana, switch to health and treatment, stop harrassing farmers, abandon zero tolerance and invest instead in youth activities, focus on reducing harm, and do it now, so says a commission of business moguls, former heads of state, financial professionals, writers, and activists.

Writes Douglas Stanglin today in USA TODAY,

“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” says the Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy in its opening statement. “Fifty years after the initiation of the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the U.S. government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.”
According to whom?
The 19-member commission, a private venture chaired by ex-Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, includes George Schultz, President Reagan’s Secretary of State; Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; former U.N. Secretary General Koffi Anna; George Papandreou, prime minister of Greece; Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Javier Solana,former EU foreign minister.
Here’s their full report.

What do they recommend? Continue reading

A radical plan to stop many police deaths: legalize drugs

Retired State Police Major Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), told Judge Napolitano:
“Prohibition didn’t work in the past, and it’s not working today”.

Franklin said LEAP now represents 50,000 members worldwide.

Few issues unite people across the political sprectrum like this one, from the NAACP to Grover Norquist.

We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County to lock up more people. We need fewer people in prison so we can afford to educate people.


Cairo in Mexico City

The U.S. media paid little attention to Mexico’s Arab moment: Protesters demand the resignation of Mexico’s top drug war official.
But while such stories have become tragically common in Mexico, this was the first time the mourners could vent their grief in front of tens of thousands of sympathizers and TV cameras from across the world.

And in this media spotlight, the protesters made a new demand — amid the failure of the government to provide security, they cried, the Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna must resign.

“We don’t want more dead. We don’t want more hate,” protest leader Javier Sicilia told the crowd. “President Felipe Calderon — show you are listening to us, and make the public safety secretary resign.”

The demand announced at Sunday’s rally gave a new edge to a movement that has been steadily rising amid the massacres and mass graves of Mexico’s drug war.

Up until then, protesters had come out with a mix

Continue reading

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox urges drug legalization

Sandra Dibble writes in signonsandiego 6 April 2011 that Former Mexican president urges drug legalization

Photo by Omar Martinez — Frontera
Legalization of drugs in Mexico would not only lead to lowered violence and drug consumption but also boost its economy, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday during a speech to a convention of newspaper editors from the United States and Latin America.

“Things are going very badly for Mexico with the issues of organized crime and violence,” Fox said in Spanish. “We’re losing large volumes of tourists, if not in the interior, then at the border. We’re losing a great number of investments.”

And if there were more jobs in Mexico, from tourism and investments, there would be fewer Mexicans trying to sneak into the U.S. for jobs.

Will legalization cause more drug use? No:

On Wednesday, Fox cited the example of Portugal, where he said drugs use has fallen by 25 percent a decade after they were legalized there.

That would be better than locking up more people for private profit while not decreasing drug use, and that’s what we’re doing now.


“consider ending drug prohibition” “stop the hypocrisy.” –Frank Serpico

One of our readers doesn’t believe Frank Serpico is for legalization of drugs, despite what filmmaker Connie Littlefield and LEAP say. Fair enough: that’s circumstantial evidence. Let’s see what Serpico himself says.

Frank Serpico in his blog, 27 March 2007:


After 30 years of drug war, illegal narcotics are decreasing in price, increasing in purity and demand continues to surge. The heroes of this film are veterans of the drug war and they urge us to consider ending drug prohibition. They have had a complete revolution in their thinking. Now they are working to end the War on Drugs. Find out what happened to change their minds.


Serpico quoted in the website for the film he recommends:

“I think Prohibition is causing the public to lose their respect because they’re enforcing laws that basically aren’t hurting anybody. I think we have to stop the hypocrisy.”
That website’s summary of the film: Continue reading

Serpico for legalization of drugs

Connie Littlefield remarks that Legalizing marijuana makes pot smoking uncool:
I was in Amsterdam because my documentary, Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey, was being screened as part of a Cannabis Tribunal. Former NYPD detective Frank Serpico, who is in my film, travelled with me.

We were invited to speak because Damage Done is about a group of cops, including Frank, and Canadian Senator Larry Campbell, who believe that the War on Drugs does more harm than the drugs themselves.

We presented a copy of our film to the chief of the Amsterdam-Amstelland Police, who told me that he became a cop because of Frank.

Her film is DAMAGE DONE: The Drug War Odyssey, here describe on the LEAP site: Continue reading