War on Drugs: another hopeless case of political immobilism

Healthcare, Israel policy, the military-industrial complex: three prime examples of insane, costly, deeply damaging US phenomena which the political system is incapable of dealing with effectively.

This immobilism is, of course, to some extent caused by naked fear of the retaliation that those interests hurt by such effective measures would unleash on the pols responsible.

But there are deeper, systemic flaws which give the interests the leverage essential to their blackmail: the media and the need for vast campaign contributions spring to mind.

The War on Drugs (domestic and export versions) is another in the same category. So far as I'm aware, no credible Prez 08 candidate has proposed to end or significantly curtail it (Huffington thereon); Kerry in 04 was (as I recall) no different, with a WoD True Believer like Rand Beers a key member of his team.

It's undoubtedly the percentage play for any pol in search of a senior position in the Federal government; and I can't see things changing.

Talkleft flags a report on the serious consequences for those convicted of (in some case, merely arrested for) a marijuana-related offence.

In a development paralleling the trend in abortion law, whilst the criminal regime in relation to marijuana is now relatively mild, in recent decades a whole host of collateral penalties have been enacted against such people.

These sanctions at state level appear in some pretty blue necks of the wood: according to the handy graphic on the first page of the report, MA is ranked the 4th severest state; although the South and Southwest figure disproportionately amongst the top states, one finds MD ranked above GA, and MN above MS!

And the Federal sanctions (such as denial of Federal housing) seem to have been enacted under all partisan permutations of Congressional and WH control.

Nothing doing, then.

Tags: Democrats and the War on Drugs, Kerry 04 and War on Drugs, Penal Policy and War on Drugs, Rand Beers (all tags)

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