October 13, 2005

We are the other people

Press conference 1968

* Why the War on Drugs Cannot be Won, by James P. Gray. excerpt:

"Based on my experience as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, as a criminal defence attorney for the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, and as a trial judge in Orange County, Calif. since 1983, I've concluded that the U.S. government policy of drug prohibition has not only failed, but that it is hopeless.

"The problem is not that our law enforcement officers aren't doing a good job. In truth is they have a dangerous and difficult task, and are doing better than we have a right to expect. They are no more to blame for the failure of drug prohibition than was Elliott Ness for the failure of alcohol prohibition. The problem, rather, is that our prohibitionist laws make the trafficking in illegal drugs so obscenely profitable that we will never exhaust the supply to criminals willing to take the risk of imprisonment in order to produce and sell them.

"In fact, our present system is giving us the worst of all worlds. As a direct result of our policy of drug prohibition, crime, violence, corruption, taxes and -- in many cases -- even drug usage have increased, while the health and civil liberties of citizens have suffered. America's "prison-industrial complex" has gotten so fat and powerful from the money our governments have budgeted for the War on Drugs that it has become politically dangerous for elected officials to speak out against the current policy. Under these circumstances, it is up to ordinary people -- as citizens, taxpayers and voters -- to call a halt to these failed policies."
"why do our policies not take into account the problems caused by the War on Drugs itself? For example, I have never heard anyone say that it is a good thing to be a heroin addict. But if some people become heroin addicts, why should they also get AIDS from dirty needles? That is a separate problem that is caused by prohibiting the distribution and possession of hypodermic needles and syringes, as well as turning the drug-addicted people into criminals, thus pushing them farther away from medical facilities where they can get help. Moreover, why should the people of Colombia see their military, police, judiciary, safety and way of life corrupted by our drug money? The people of Colombia do not have a drug problem: No one is dying from coca plants. What they have is a devastating drug money problem."

* "the president, he's got his war/folks don't know just what it's for/no one gives ya rhyme or reason/have one doubt they call it treason" -- Roberta Fleck from 1969's "compared to what" [via nick]

* Saturday at 6pm the caribbean will be playing a set from their recently released full-length Plastic Explosives at Revolution Records in Van Ness.

* "If it all seems too much, just remember that Kant never got laid. Ever." –Andrew Butler


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