Pubdate: Mon, 13 Oct 2003
Source: Crimson White, The (Edu, Univ of Alabama)
Copyright: 2003 The Crimson White.
Author: Loretta Nall


As a drug law reform advocate, I am very pleased that nonviolent drug 
offenders will soon be released from Alabama's overcrowded and violent 
prison system. However, that is equivalent to putting a Band-Aid on an open 

Despite the fact that Alabama has some of the harshest drug laws in the 
nation, it is painfully obvious they are not acting as a deterrent. What is 
the state going to do to keep nonviolent drug offenders from refilling the 
prison system?

If we leave drug laws the way they are, then it is inevitable that a lot of 
the same people being released will soon find themselves back in prison.

Substance abuse is a health problem and not a judicial one. You cannot 
incarcerate your way out of it.

I suggest we change the laws ... starting with marijuana. We need to remove 
all criminal penalties for responsible adult use.

Many of the people in prison for nonviolent drug offenses are there for 
possessing, smoking, growing or selling marijuana. While marijuana has 
never killed anyone, people die every day in the unjustified war against it.

What is the moral basis for persecuting, incarcerating and killing a 
nonviolent segment of society because of what they choose to ingest?

Loretta Nall

President, U.S. Marijuana Party

Alexander City
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