The United States incarcerates more people and at a higher rate than any other peacetime nation in the world. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics the number of US residents behind bars has now reached more than 2.3 million.
We are losing an entire generation of young men and women to our prisons. Our nation‰s ineffective and wasteful ‹war on drugsŠ plays a major role in this. We must place a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and prevention. We must de-criminalize minor drug offenses and increase the availability and visibility of substance abuse treatment and prevention in our communities as well as in jails and prisons. […]
I have studied the issue for decades and recognize that our “War on Drugs” has failed. In fact, because our War on Drugs drives up the price, it encourages violence. Prohibition simply doesn’t work. It only creates thousands and thousands of Al Capones. Prison should be for people who hurt other people, not themselves. We don’t jail people for merely drinking. We jail people when they drink and drive or hurt another human. […]
- While recognizing the harm that drug abuse causes society, we also recognize that government drug policy has been ineffective and has led to frightening abuses of the Bill of Rights which could affect the personal freedom of any American. We, therefore, support alternatives to the War on Drugs.
- Per the tenth amendment to the US Constitution, matters such as drugs should be handled at the state or personal level.
- All laws which give license to violate the Bill of Rights should be repealed.
Kind of unusual, wouldn’t you say? Three major-party candidates taking strong positions in opposition to the war on drugs (along with Bill Richardson’s support for medical marijuana). Admittedly, they’re three fringe major-party candidates, but still… it’s pretty impressive. And Gravel and Kucinich even put their positions out boldly right on their candidacy web pages (I’m not sure why Paul hasn’t done that, but he’s certainly been an extremely strong advocate for reform.)
Sure, when it comes to the actual election, we’ll probably have to choose between a drug war cheerleader and a drug war apologist, but let’s enjoy the moment.