Home > Drug War Follies > Call Off The Global War On Drugs! President Jimmy Carter NYT Op-Ed & Racism In The Drug War

Call Off The Global War On Drugs! President Jimmy Carter NYT Op-Ed & Racism In The Drug War

Lawrence O’Donnel on The Last Word had a nice double header to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of the modern war on drugs. In the first segment he covers Jimmy Carter’s New York Times Op Ed piece  “Call Off The Global War On Drugs!” He follows that by interviewing professor Michelle Alexander author of “The New Jim Crow” which as you might guess about blatant racism of the drug war in this country.

President Carter’s editorial was in response to and support of the study recently released by a UN Commission that we covered in a previous post. Here is some of what he wrote and a link to the rest.

“These recommendations are compatible with United States drug policy from three decades ago. In a message to Congress in 1977, I said the country should decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with a full program of treatment for addicts. I also cautioned against filling our prisons with young people who were no threat to society, and summarized by saying: “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”

These ideas were widely accepted at the time. But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries.

This approach entailed an enormous expenditure of resources and the dependence on police and military forces to reduce the foreign cultivation of marijuana, coca and opium poppy and the production of cocaine and heroin. One result has been a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries.”

To read the entire editorial click here.

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