Pubdate: Tue, 02 Aug 2011
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2011 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy


Follow Tobacco Example

Support for the drug war would end overnight if Caucasians were
incarcerated for drug offenses at the same rate as minorities ["Even
the NAACP is calling for an end to the war on drugs," Opinion, July

Racially disproportionate incarceration rates are not the only cause
for alarm. Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure,
joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Incarcerating nonviolent drug
offenders with hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them
with a taxpayer-funded education in anti-social behavior.

It's time to declare peace in the failed drug war and begin treating
all substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public-health problem
it is. Thanks to public-education efforts, legal tobacco use has
steadily declined, without any need to criminalize smokers.

Mandatory minimum prison sentences, civil-asset forfeiture, random
drug testing and racial profiling are not the most cost-effective
means of discouraging unhealthy choices.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Arlington, Va. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.