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  1. Heretic.Ape.
    [FONT=arial, helvetica][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]My Turn: Only prisons profit in drug war[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]
    By Ben Mitchell
    [/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=arial, helvetica]I am Ben Mitchell, the Liberty Union candidate for lieutenant governor in the state of Vermont. If I am elected and the governor leaves the state for even 10 minutes, I will pardon all nonviolent drug offenders serving time in Vermont or Kentucky prisons. I think it is stupid to pay $45,000 a year to lock up drug users when we won't spend more than $7,000 a year to educate our young people. Besides, I thought this was a free country.[/FONT]
    [FONT=arial, helvetica]I believe the current system is totally ineffective. During almost 30 years of the War on Drugs, we have seen an increase in prevalence of drug abuse and incarceration. The Bureau of Justice's own statistics tell the story. In 2001, an estimated 2.7 percent of adults in the United States had served time in prison, up from 1.8 percent in 1991 and 1.3 percent in 1974. Three out of every four convicted jail inmates were alcohol or drugs-involved at the time of their current offense. Drug offenders, up 37 percent, represented the largest source of jail population growth between 1996 and 2002. More than two-thirds of the growth in inmates held in local jails for drug law violations was due to an increase in persons charged with drug trafficking.[/FONT]
    [FONT=arial, helvetica]Knowing that 75 percent of those serving time suffer from drug and alcohol addiction should suggest that the real issue here is addiction. We are using the criminal system to deal with a medical issue. I do not see any benefit in throwing people struggling with addiction into a population that will provide little help for the core problem and in most cases drives inmates to become more violent. If we were to focus on the problem of addiction, we could provide treatment that would be much less expensive and significantly improve the outcome. With the savings, we could focus our corrections budget on protecting society from those who are truly dangerous.[/FONT]
    [FONT=arial, helvetica]Also by legalizing drugs, we could tax and regulate them, providing a significant new income stream for the state and eliminating the criminal profit. The retail drug trade in the United States is estimated at $60 billion annually. The true criminals who make the profit are often shielded from the risk, leaving the addicts to serve the time. Also, if Vermont were to legalize marijuana, we would create a huge new revenue stream for the agricultural community. I am certain that our neighbors from New York and New Hampshire would be very loyal to the Vermont organic label given the opportunity.[/FONT]
    [FONT=arial, helvetica]It is time to acknowledge that the War on Drugs has failed. It is bad policy. Although profitable for the privatized prison system -- who in some cases even exploits the inmates for slave labor -- the War on Drugs is by every measure not only unsuccessful but increasing the problem. How stupid are we?[/FONT]
    [FONT=arial, helvetica]Ben Mitchell of Putney is the Liberty Union candidate for lieutenant governor.[/FONT]


    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080926/OPINION/809260307/1006

Comments

  1. Panthers007
    Lordy, lordy! Man! You should hear the Republitards ranting & raving in Vermont. They get access to every media-venue they can find. Then they use phone-trees to call their cell-group into mass-action. Earlier today they were swarming over an article in the local paper (online) about a rally supporting local actions to stop global-warming. They attacked the only writer (me) to support the demonstrators. I am stupid. I don't know science - which has disproven it exists. I'm retarded. I belong in jail. I am a traitor. I need mental-healthcare (they won't pay for it, though). Etc.

    Bottom-Line: Only un-patriotic traitors believe in global-warming and should be killed. They apply this method to everything that doesn't start & finish with: Obama is a traitor for al Qaida and God Bless the Great Hero John McCain!

    I'm sure we'll be hearing much about Ben Mitchell shortly - and how marijuana is smuggled in from Iran by al Qaida terrorists to poison our children. Remember - Fact's Don't Matter.
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