"There is a solution to the problem of the drug war. In California, Proposition 19 will regulate and tax marijuana..."

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 12:15.

Dear Reader,

Since you have been reading AlterNet, you know that we feel very strongly about the destructive effects of the drug war. In the case of marijuana, our laws are clearly doing more harm than good.  

For a substance with many beneficial qualities and very little negative effects, tens of thousands of lives are undermined and enormous amounts of money is wasted. Somewhere around 750,000 arrests are make each year for possession of small amounts of marijuana, which seems absurd.

Proposition 19 has a good chance of wining next Tuesday, but they need cash to keep powerful new TV ad on the air. Please take a moment to watch the ad -- and make a generous contribution to help keep it on the air!

The video features Joseph D. McNamara, who spent 35 years in law enforcement, including 15 as the police chief of San Jose. He does a masterful job explaining how our war on marijuana has been a complete failure.

There is a solution to the problem of the drug war. In California, Proposition 19 will regulate and tax marijuana saving taxpayers billions of dollars in law enforcement and jail costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually.

Crime would be reduced along with violence and the corruption associated with drug selling. We would see a marked reduction in violations of civil liberties and human rights as well as racial unfairness.

Why do we have hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens being arrested? Police could focus on serious crime instead.

This is an issue for everyone, not just residents of California. I urge you to watch the video and support Yes on Prop. 19 as generously as possible.

Thanks for your help,

Don Hazen
Executive Editor, AlterNet.org

Taken together, these sources clearly indicate that drug use, and by implication, drug possession and possession of drug instruments, occurs across the entire county among a diverse range of the population, and that there is a multiplicity of drugs being bought, sold, and used in the region. Thus, as Judge Connally pointed out in her Grand Jury report, it seems nearly impossible to argue that possession of “crack pipes” or other paraphernalia with trace amounts of drugs stops at the Cleveland city border. So if, as the anecdotal evidence suggests, the overwhelming number of these cases that are charged as felonies are originating within the jurisdiction of the Cleveland Police Department, it seems to be a matter of differential enforcement policies rather than stark differences in offending behavior driving this phenomenon.