It’s Time to Legalize Drugs: An Open Letter to Congress and the President

http://www.drugwarrant.com/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/28/it-s-time-to-legalize-drugs-an-open-letter-to-congress-and-the-president.html

Bestselling author Don Winslow, whose new novel The Cartel is now available, on how the only way to win the trillion-dollar War on Drugs is to stop fighting. This piece is also running as a paid ad by Winslow in today’s print edition of The Washington Post.

Let me come right our and say what you won’t tell the American people. The War on Drugs is unwinnable. It was unwinnable for Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. At forty-four years, it’s America’s longest war and there’s no end in sight…

Cops standing in front of big drug seizures look great on the evening news. But it sells a lie that we’re winning, just like George Bush on an aircraft carrier declaring that a war was over that still rages on today.

It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, $1 trillion, and 45 million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.

Our justice system is a junkie, demanding its daily fix of arrests, seizures and convictions. It needs drugs. It’s as hooked as that guy sticking a needle into his arm even though he knows it’s killing him.

Towns that used to compete for factories now campaign for penitentiaries because caging our citizens has become big business. Prison privatization—corrections as capitalism—has increased 1600 percent between 1990 and 2010.

More African-American men are in prison or in the “system” today than there were slaves in 1850. And you don’t just throw an individual behind bars, you throw his or her whole family. Almost 3 million kids have a parent in jail on a drug charge, and they’re more likely to be on welfare, drop out of school, go out on the corner and sell drugs to start the whole tragic cycle all over again. Drugs begin the destruction of families and the justice system finishes them off…

Police departments have become occupying armies. We can draw a direct line between the War on Drugs and the recent events in Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore, and elsewhere.

The militarization of our police departments began with the reaction to the crack epidemic of the 1980s. Heavily armed SWAT teams battering down doors in the middle of the night, arresting thousands of young men, have turned American neighborhoods into war zones and spawned a hostile and deadly relationship with our inner-city communities…

The War on Drugs isn’t just a failure, it’s a disaster…

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Former federal judge sentences the Drug War

http://www.drugwarrant.com/

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/federal-judge-my-drug-war-sentences-were-unfair-and-disproportionate/397130/

ASPEN, Colo.—Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton in 1994. She presided over trials for 17 years. And Sunday, she stood before a crowd at The Aspen Ideas Festival to denounce most punishments that she imposed.

Among 500 sanctions that she handed down, “80 percent I believe were unfair and disproportionate,” she said. “I left the bench in 2011 to join the Harvard faculty to write about those stories––to write about how it came to pass that I was obliged to sentence people to terms that, frankly, made no sense under any philosophy.”

No theory of retribution or social change could justify them, she said. And that dispiriting conclusion inspired the radical idea that she presented: a call for the U.S. to mimic its decision after World War II to look to the future and rebuild rather than trying to punish or seek retribution. As she sees it, the War on Drugs ought to end in that same spirit. “Although we were not remotely the victors of that war, we need a big idea in order to deal with those who were its victims,” she said, calling for something like a Marshall Plan.

She went on to savage the War on Drugs at greater length.

“This is a war that I saw destroy lives,” she said. “It eliminated a generation of African American men, covered our racism in ostensibly neutral guidelines and mandatory minimums… and created an intergenerational problem––although I wasn’t on the bench long enough to see this, we know that the sons and daughters of the people we sentenced are in trouble, and are in trouble with the criminal justice system.”

She added that the War on Drugs eliminated the political participation of its casualties. “We were not leveling cities as we did in WWII with bombs, but with prosecution, prison, and punishment,” she said, explaining that her life’s work is now focused on trying to reconstruct the lives that she undermined––as a general matter, by advocating for reform, and as a specific project: she is trying to go through the list of all the people she sentenced to see who deserves executive clemency.

The Worst Companies To Work For

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/06/29/the-worst-companies-to-work-for/2/

1. Express Scripts

While pharmacy chain CVS Health received poor employees ratings, it still fared better than Express Scripts, which was the only large company to receive an average rating of 2.3 on Glassdoor. Just 28% of the current and former Express Scripts employees surveyed said they would recommend working at the pharmacy benefit management company to a friend…

Horrible employee satisfaction does not appear to have hurt the company’s bottom line. Express Scripts net income has increased each year from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2014, with the most recent earnings of over $2 billion, Shares of Express Scripts have roughly doubled since the beginning of 2012.

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/it-appears-that-express-scripts-really-sucks/

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/open-letter-to-express-scripts/

Oregon Board of Pharmacy reclassified marijuana

http://www.cannalawblog.com/

The Oregon Board of Pharmacy has had a noteworthy relationship with marijuana over the years. As recently as 2010, under direction from the Oregon legislature, the Board reclassified marijuana from a Schedule I substance (as per the Federal Controlled Substances Act), to a Schedule II substance…

I didn’t know states could do that.