Pubdate: Wed, 06 Mar 2002
Source: Methow Valley News (WA)
Copyright: 2002 Methow Valley News
Author: Dale Hill



After more than 30 years of fighting America's drug war, one has to wonder 
when the mentality will shift away from trying to arrest America's way out 
of this problem. One thing is for sure, and that is as long as our citizens 
keep electing public servants that have the "lock-em up and throw away the 
key" attitude, nothing will change. We must never forget that the 
electorate should control the politicians.

It seems that almost everyone but the politicians know that education and 
treatment is a better approach than incarceration. If incarceration were 
the magic bullet, then we would not have had a half million heroin addicts 
when President Nixon declared the war on drugs, and (30 years later) still 
have about the same number of heroin addicts. Now 74 percent of Americans 
believe that the drug war is not working. As in many things, the citizens 
(unafraid of the political consequences) are far ahead of their politicians.

It seems even though most Americans think that the drug war is not working, 
very few really know what to do about it or how to obtain honest 
information. There are many organizations that are working very hard to 
inform Americans and to help us fight the battle for change. Two of the 
better-equipped are Families against Mandatory Minimums and the November 
Coalition. Groups like these non-profit organizations work to provide facts 
and accurate information.

Something that amazes me is that with over 400,000 Americans in prison for 
drug-related offenses, these groups only have a combined membership of 
44,000. These groups are important and informed and their voices are 
strengthened by increased membership. I urge you to contact them at or at FAMM, 1612 K St. Washington, D.C. 20006; (202) 822-6700; 
or or at TNC, 795 S. Cedar, Colville, WA 99114; (509) 

Let your voice be heard.

Dale Hill

Seymour Johnson Federal Prison

Goldsboro, N.C.
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