Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Drug War Doesn't Protect Children

USA Today Op-Ed

Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance - New York

Drug war doesn't protect children The defenders of the failed war on drugs say that we can't discuss alternatives to prohibition because it would "send the wrong message to the kids."

Although supporters of the status quo claim the war on drugs is to protect our children, a disturbing USA TODAY article shows that it has the opposite effect and leads to Mexican school kids living in a war zone ("Drug war spreads violence, fear in Mexico," News, Dec. 22).

Just what does the drug war get us or the people of Mexico?

U.S. prisons are exploding with non-violent drug offenders, thousands die from drug prohibition violence along the border and drugs remain as plentiful and easy as ever to get.

On the Mexican side of the border, gory tales of the drug war's consequences dominate the daily headlines. This year, more Mexicans have died due to drug prohibition than have American service members in Iraq since the war started. Mexicans and Americans should question whether President Felipe Calderand President Bush's "war on drugs" is worth it.

Although there are some compelling reasons drugs should remain illegal, we should at least begin an honest discussion about the root causes of the violence and the range of options to deal with the harm of drugs and their prohibition. It is clear that the strategy of the past 40 years is not working.


Anonymous said...

We had the same problems with Alchol probition. The biggest obstacle to legalization is all those people that work for DEA fear losing there plush salarys.
I say legalize drugs, offer DEA people a chance to become border patrol agents. We need to seal our borders and ports!! djw

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as to legalize or not legalize drugs. The root cause of alcohol or drug abuse is mental illness, usually. I have seen abuse hurt many families and lives, including my own family and my friends.
I think drugs should remain illegal, but the consequences of use should be a progressively closely monitored rehabilitation set of programs, which are tailored to meet the needs of the drug addict. In some cases, to protect society, we would need to put into prison only those who refuse or are unable to change.
If we spent less money on protecting the possessions of the rich and businesses, such as the past 3 wars, and re-direct money spent on prisons on these programs, society would end up ahead on many fronts.mpc

Anonymous said...

MPC i totally disagree!! Reason, the afluent, wealthy use drugs all the time and arent sent to prison??? Why, they spend there money going to treatment programs. They even admit to using drugs and arent arrested. The cops only arrest the poor.
Yes i have seen abuse also. The biggest reason for the mental health issue is caused in the prisons right here in Colorado.
We have the AAA for the alcohol treatment and its privately funded and the most succesful program we have. The same can work for drug treatment programs. Keep the government out of our lives period. Dont you realize they screw up everything they do!!
If there needs to be a law making it illegal to use a drug, shouldnt it apply to the rich also??? For the record I personaly have never used any kind of drugs, never smoked pot and donot intend to. I quit smoking by my choice in 1985.
Look at all the celebritys that have used drugs and many who even od'ed on them. Did they land in jail??? Why single out the poor with laws that violate there constitutional right?
Also need to look at the abuse of prescription drugs. I would venture that as many people kill themselves with prescription drugs as do the so called illegal kind. Pot as an example i dont know of anyone OD'ing on it. I say let our farmers grow it. They can export it to Mexico and the rest of South America where it seems to come from. Make it cheap, that will stop the foriegners from trying to send it here.djw

Anonymous said...

djw is correct in his observation that the 'elite' rich use illegal drugs without consequences. They are left alone. It is all about intimidating and incarcerating the poor.

Also, consider the language used. It would seem that everything has to be a "war" on this and a "war" on that. The word war in itself is negative. Then again, war tends to be glorified and heroic. The mind of the impressionable view it as *glory on drugs*. Kill when told (equal to the 70% mindless sheeple who comply with authoritarian commands), then don't kill on home soil or it's a felony. It's a felony and criminal either way. One is legal/commanding the other is illegal/criminal.

Yes. I'm against these double standards of teaching our children to utilize verbal rationality rather than violence. Then the schools teach 'zero tolerance', meaning no retaliation of any kind even in self-defense. Jeez. Lose-lose situation.

Then again, there is the TV. Pharmaceuticals are being pushed in advertisements constantly. Physicians are literally pushers. "Ask your doctor about ________." Legal DRUGS! Many of them are severely addictive with serious negative side effects and pose suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts or actions.

Crossed messages are being drummed into people's minds. The free thinkers don't get caught up in ANY of it.

Get rid of the term war on drugs.

There are hypocrites in every occupation.

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