Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

10 Uplifting Stories from 2015 that Show the War on Drugs is in Retreat

Published on December 15, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

10-Big-Stories-from-2015-that-Show-the-War-on-Drugs-is-in-Retreat

Justin Gardner

2015 has been a remarkable year in the struggle to end the senseless, immoral War on Drugs. Since prohibition came around in the mid-20th century—outlawing many plants and derivatives that have been used by humans for thousands of years—it has created misery for millions and driven the development of dangerous alternatives.

The misery can be summed up in mass incarceration, creating a violent black market, and denying people effective treatments for medical conditions.

The War on Drugs has been the primary factor driving a staggering increase in the US prison population, which quadrupled since 1980 to a point in 2008 where more than 1 in 100 adults were incarcerated. During that time, mandatory minimum sentences were put in place to deal out harsh penalties for victimless crimes. While users and street dealers were thrown in cages, the black market for drugs grew into a monster with the help of corrupt government agencies such as Border Patrol.

Just as Western medicine began realizing the usefulness of cannabis and psychedelics for treating a wide range of physical and mental problems, prohibition shut down scientific advancement. Denying these treatments to citizens, and denying their right to ingest any substance they want, denies basic human rights. It could be construed as a crime against humanity.

While government carried out its war on people, their financiers in the pharmaceutical industry got a nation addicted to prescription pills, which are now causing an epidemic of death and addiction. Criminalizing cannabis and other plant-based substances has led to the emergence of truly dangerous drugs such as “spice” (synthetic cannabis) and “flakka.”

However, there is hope. Here are 10 big stories in 2015 that show we may have reached the tipping point in ending the War on Drugs.

Release of Non-Violent Drug Offenders

About 6,000 inmates were released from federal prison in early November. This is only the start, as upwards of 46,000 non-violent drug offenders are set to be released after the US Sentencing Commission reformed its stance on drug sentencing. Also, the Justice Department instructed its prosecutors “not to charge low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no connection to gangs or large-scale drug organizations with offenses that carry severe mandatory sentences.”

58% of Americans Now in Favor of Legalizing Cannabis

The results of a Gallup poll released in October show that a solid majority of Americans say cannabis use should be legal in the US. This is the highest percentage in 46 years, and is consistent with other state and national polls. Despite this, more than 700,000 people were arrested for cannabis in 2014, mostly for simple possession.

Canada Confirms They will Legalize Cannabis

Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, repeated the promise that his government will legalize and regulate cannabis. In his remarks, Trudeau said this will fix a “failed system” and remove the “criminal element.” They will be looking to Colorado and Washington, which just legalized recreational use, in developing the Canadian model.

Read More HERE

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