Norm Stamper, NORML Advisory Board Member
Anyone blind to the irony? Gil Kerlikowske, my successor, is on his way to the other Washington to assume the mantle of “drug czar.” I am, on the other hand, a proud and vocal member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Gil will have a national, indeed international platform from which to make his case for a continuation of the nation’s drug laws. I’ll use this space, at least for this initial post, to make the argument that our drug policies don’t work, and that the “War on Drugs” has caused far more harm than good.
Since Richard Nixon pronounced drugs “Public Enemy Number One” and declared all-out war on them in 1971, we have spent over $1 trillion prosecuting that war. We’ve incarcerated tens of millions of our fellow citizens for nonviolent drug offenses, arresting wildly disproportionate numbers of young people,
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