Pubdate: Wed, 24 Sep 2003
Source: Crimson White, The (Edu, Univ of Alabama)
Copyright: 2003 The Crimson White.
Author: Scott Russ


Alabama, like many states in our nation, is faced with overcrowded prisons and
fiscal crisis. 

Releasing non violent inmates may help clear the way for more violent
criminals, but it doesn't address the reason the prisons are being filled in
the first place. There is one simple answer: the war on drugs.

We are seeing the results of more than 50 years of prohibition. Many of these
inmates should have never been arrested in the first place.

What many people don't realize is that these released prisoners will be on
probation and forced to undergo drug testing. So if they choose to smoke
marijuana they could end up right back in prison.

Now why do the taxpayers have to foot the bill to send a parolee back to
prison, to the tune of $20,000 to $30,000 a year, because he/she smoked

The fact is that our government has no right to tell its citizens what they can
and can't put in to their own body. These types of policies are destroying our
nation and taking much-needed revenue from education and other helpful
programs. We need to hold adults responsible for their actions and quit making
criminals out of those who are not criminals.

One day we will realize that our war on politically selected substances was a
huge mistake - the biggest domestic policy disaster in the history of our

I just hope our lawmakers get the courage to speak the truth before another
generation falls victim to our insane drug war.

Scott Russ

Baton Rouge, La.
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