10 Steps to End the Drug War from DrugSense

An interesting message from Mark Greer at DrugSense:

While the main purpose of DrugSense is to encourage accuracy and honesty in the media with respect to illegal drugs, our goal is ultimately to stop the costly and ineffective drug war. Through our extensive archive of more than 170,000 articles on all aspects of drug policy, we have identified 10 specific steps that would result in ending prohibition as we know it.
1. Grant agronomist Lyle Craker a license to grow medicinal-grade cannabis at the University of Massachusetts.
Effect: End the federal government’s monopoly on growing marijuana to
meet the FDA’s requirement for an independent, high quality
cannabis supply for approved cannabis-based research and product
2. Pass the Hinchey-Rohrbacher Amendment.
Effect: End the costly DEA harassment of California dispensaries and
allow states in which medical cannabis is legal to begin regulated
access without federal interference.
3. Accept the Petition to Reschedule Cannabis.
Effect: Remove cannabis from the restrictive Schedule I designation of
the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and permit its prescription by
physicians like pharmaceuticals.
4. Make Afghani opium available to pharmaceutical companies.
Effect: Develop a licensing system so that opium grown in Afghanistan
can be legally sold to make narcotic pain relievers, thereby
alleviating a worldwide shortage of these medications.
5. Defund the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
Effect: Save taxpayers hundreds of millions by eliminating this
campaign, which has only resulted in making drug use more attractive to
6. Increase funding for needle exchange and safe consumption sites.
Effect: Prevent overdoses, reduce drug-related hospital admissions, and
slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
7. Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentencing.
Effect: Reduce the non-violent prison population, and end the racial
disparity in sentencing that has resulted in one in three black men
between the ages of 20 and 29 being under correctional control.
8. Free non-violent drug prisoners and stop the Federal trials of Marc
and Ed Rosenthal.
Effect: Save the taxpayers the wasted time and expense spent trying
these non-violent individuals on unpopular charges.
9. Develop citizen oversight boards for SWAT squads.
Effect: Save lives and property that are needlessly disrupted through
the use of a violent techniques for non-violent situations, which are
too often drug raids based on bad information.
10. Pass as many lowest-priority marijuana initiatives as possible.
Effect: Help the government understand that citizens want to be
protected from violent terrorists, not non-violent marijuana
consumers. Public officials, including police, need to prioritize
their scarce dollars and resources according to that which is most
dangerous and most urgent to public health and safety.
Of course, we at DrugSense know that many more steps need be taken to
move away from drug policies based on fear, prejudice, and
misinformation, and toward policies grounded in science, reason, and
compassion. If you have an idea or step that could be added to this
list, please post it here

Some people have, at times, questioned the apparent fractured structure of the drug policy reform community and wondered if it could be better accomplished if all the various organizations and efforts combined their resources into one. I think this list helps to show the value and importance of a multi-pronged approach in ending the drug war. No one effort can do it — it takes chipping away at a host of different, yet related issues.

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