Draconian drug sentences in America are now seen as a problem, not as a solution as it was a few generations back. Ill advised and ill begotten, the once-vaunted war on drugs has served as a vote-getting strategy that has helped to put opportunistic politicians in office while doing little to end the scourge of hard drugs in America. In fact, it might have worsened the situation more than anything else has.
Draconian Drug Sentences in America
By Dr. Sinclair Grey III
America and its Draconian drug laws
First time drug offenders, often nonviolent youths, have been given stiff drug sentences for years now in an ill-conceived attempt on the part of conservative forces to ‘storm trooper” the problem of drug addiction and related crime, much – if not most – of it caused by this self same Draconian sentencing policy. It has been show beyond a reasonable doubt that a proactive policy wins the day in this matter; (shown) that education and loving-yet-firm guidance during childhood and the teenage years especially will do a lot more to help at-risk youths and society as a whole than will harsh measures whose provenance is largely ignorance and egotism.
“When President Lyndon Johnson announced the War on Poverty, he left out one crucial word – drugs. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, there was still an unfinished agenda. What was it? “A provision over illegal drugs which provided not only for federal criminal-law enforcement but also for expanded rehabilitation and treatment programs.”
Johnson didn’t want to deal with it. He said “Drugs? I don’t want to have anything to do with them. Just lock them up and throw away the key.” Forget about rehabilitation. Forget about treating those who are drug dependent. Just lock them up.
In his upcoming State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will confront the government’s struggle to legislate drugs and the War on Poverty.
In addition to this, Obama should seek to reduce sentencing for drug-law offenders who are non-violent. With the increase of prisoners in the prison system after the crack cocaine era, jails/prisons are overcrowded, treatment programs aren’t as effective, and the cost of housing these prisoners are being passed on to taxpayers. In fact, ‘the lock them up and throw away the key mentality has seen an increase of 800 percent in prisoners from 1980 to 2012. The Justice department spends $6.4 billion dollars a years on prisons…”