By Rady Ananda
Attorney General Eric Holder today announced an Obama Administration policy change on mandatory sentences as they relate to drugs. The new policy includes the “compassionate release” of some prisoners and expanding “at-risk” programs for teens.
“Prisons are operating at 40% above capacity,” he told the audience at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, which was broadcast on C-SPAN.
“Incarceration rates have increased 800% since 1980,” he added, putting over 200,000 people in federal prisons this year. Half of those inmates are incarcerated for drug-related crimes, he said, costing $80 billion a year.
Posted in Art, Books, Music & Film, Healthcare, Human Rights Civil Liberties, Obama and Company
Tagged mandatory sentencing, marijuana, medical cannabis, obama, peace for patients, Prisons, realm of caring, sanjay gupta, weeds
By Robert C. Koehler
“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”
The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.
The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.