How long has there been a "War on Drugs"? Seems forever. (It was announced by Richard Nixon in 1971, but goes back millennia, as we saw above.) And year after year, it just gets crazier and crazier, ruins more and more lives, and drives the U.S. further into the pit of social disaster. How is it possible that this insanity persists (even though intelligent and rational people have been pointing out for many years how crazy and evil it is)? Read this page (and page two) for an understanding of what lies behind this monstrosity.
America, with less than 5 percent of the world population, has a quarter of the world's prisoners. There are six times as many Americans behind bars as are imprisoned in the 12 countries that make up the entire European Union, even though those countries have 100 million more citizens than the United States. Our jails and prisons have become the 51st state, with a greater combined population than Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota. — Editorial, San Jose Mercury News, 1999-12-31.
In August , the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that the number of men and women behind bars in the U.S. at the end of 1999 exceeded two million and the rate of incarceration had reached 690 inmates per 100,000 residents — a rate Human Rights Watch believed to be the highest in the world (with the exception of Rwanda). ... The unrelenting war on drugs continued to pull hundreds of thousands of drug offenders into the criminal justice system: 1,559,100 people were arrested on drug charges in 1998; approximately 450,000 drug offenders were confined in jails and prisons. According to the Department of Justice, 107,000 people were sent to state prison on drug charges in 1998, representing 30.8 percent of all new state admissions. Drug offenders constituted 57.8 percent of all federal inmates. — Human Rights Watch World Report 2001: United States
At this time the Gulag Archipelago, the scattered islands of prisons in which hundreds of thousands of non-violent people are locked away for half their lives for their opposition to the disgraceful and immoral policies of a tyrannical and dictatorial state, is not in Russia, rather it is in the United States of America. This is a crime against humanity by which the government of the United States, which trumpets itself as a defender of liberty and democracy, makes itself into an object of contempt in the eyes of the world.