Pubdate: Wed, 03 Aug 2005
Source: Gainesville Sun, The (FL)
Copyright: 2005 The Gainesville Sun
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Drug Test)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


Kudos to K.C. Walpole for an excellent July 24 op-ed on the prison 
industrial complex.

For decades, entrenched interests riding the drug-war gravy train have 
dominated the drug-policy debate. As a result, state budgets favor 
incarceration over education. Prison-guard unions and for-profit prisons 
fund the campaigns of politicians willing to support mandatory minimum 
sentencing and zero-tolerance drug laws.

This is the business approach to drug policy. The more citizens behind 
bars, the more money the prison industry makes.

It's worth noting that tobacco use has declined considerably in recent 
years. Public education efforts are paying off. Apparently mandatory 
minimum prison sentences, civil-asset forfeiture, random drug testing and 
racial profiling are not necessarily the most cost-effective means of 
discouraging unhealthy choices.

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C. 
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