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Posts Tagged ‘war on drugs’


The Drug War Video You Need to See

In 2011, less than half of all violent crimes found any resolution. Less than half. That means more than half of all violent offenders in 2011 are enjoying their freedom. What or who do we have to thank for this little kink in the criminal justice system?

In a video by Learn Liberty that has been floating around social media sites thanks to Upworthy.com, Professor Alex Kreit of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law explains how America’s “War on Drugs” is leaving violent criminals on the streets because law enforcement officers are using so much time and energy to arrest and incarcerate non-violent offenders for drug possession, including marijuana possession. In fact, 81% of all drug arrests are for simple possession.

Kreit then looks at other countries, giving evidence that when the government makes a distinction between violent and non-violent crimes, and treats addiction as an illness rather than a crime, the criminal justice system becomes leaner and more efficient.

The video’s final question: who are the real victims of the government’s war on drugs?

If you haven’t gotten around to watching The House I Live In, which is a documentary addressing the same question, watch this video in the meantime.

We also encourage you to visit the Learn Liberty website, where they provide action steps for individuals and organizations against the drug war. They point you to the Marijuana Policy Project, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. They’re doing great things for the legalization cause.

If you feel strongly about the message of the video, you can also help Learn Liberty make it go viral. On their website, they provide a link to tweet the video to several prominent figures who have made public statements about their support of marijuana legalization and their disgust at America’s drug war.

http://learnliberty.org/war-on-drugs-video/

 
In the News…

While things feel pretty normal here at The Glass House, things are shaking up in Denver, Colorado this week. The 2013 International Drug Policy Conference is taking place from Wednesday, October 23 through Saturday, October 26, with over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries.

The International Drug Policy Conference is a biennial event hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance and several partner organizations with the goal of bringing together people from around the world who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good.

This year attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world.

What kind of people attend the conference? Anyone from students and activists to elected officials and public health advocates. Presentations cover a variety of topics, and attendees can even choose a “track” of presentations that fit their specific interests. These tracks include criminal justice, marijuana reform, health and harm reduction, movement building, international drug issues, psychedelics, academic/scholarly work, cultural and crossover issues, and training.

We’re excited to hear what new ideas and innovations emerge from this conference! In the meantime, you can check out the audio and video of past presentations from the conference archives.

 
Weekend Netflix Movie Selection #3

Welcome to our third and final Netflix movie selection for the weekend! The 2012 documentary The House I Live In received high praise from critics and won several awards, including Best Documentary at Sundance. Director Eugene Jarecki, known for Freakonomics and Why We Fight, takes a closer look at America’s War on Drugs and how it’s affecting individuals, subcultures and ultimately the nation.

The House I Live In is a little different from the other two movies we selected for your weekend entertainment. First, the tone is more serious and the content more grim. It’s the opposite of boring, but you can expect a darker vibe than the others. Secondly, The House I Live In doesn’t focus on marijuana legalization, but rather looks at the history of the War on all Drugs in America and its political and cultural implications. So…put your thinking caps on.

Jarecki’s inspiration for the film originated with one story: that of his childhood nanny in New Haven, Connecticut. While she worked and even moved with the family to support her children, her son became involved in hard drugs and contracted HIV from needle use. While this sounds like a simple snapshot, Jarecki uses this story as a starting point, and goes on to explore how the War on Drugs is ultimately hurting poor communities rather than helping.

The House I Live In also traces America’s history of drug prohibition. Before the turn of the 20th century, there were no illegal drugs. Housewives in the south had an affinity for opium. Hemp was once a required crop on Virginia plantations. Each drug was made illegal for various reasons, usually socio-political and often racial.

While this film may not be a plea to legalize marijuana or all drugs, it does shed a surprising light on the media propaganda and political motivations behind the drug war in America. Definitely worth a watch!

Don’t forget about Super High Me and The Union – if you haven’t seen them yet, it may be time for a legalization marathon!

 

Maybe you read this article on the Huffington Post last week, the one entitled, “Here Are All The People Who Have Died From A Marijuana Overdose.” If you didn’t, no worries! That’s why we’re here.

In the article, author Nick Wing shares the answer to the question the title implies – zero people have died from a marijuana overdose! In fact, he cites a study that claims a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying.

What?!

Yes, it’s true. With all the legal battles underway and the constant media references to the War on Drugs, we like to have all the facts.

In an ironic twist at the end of the article, Huffington Post includes a series of photos and stories of fourteen individuals killed not by marijuana, but by the War on Drugs. These stories do not discriminate based on age, gender, ethnicity, religion, employment status, or income level. For instance…

  • Veronica and Charity Bowers – Veronica, the 35-year old mother of infant Charity, was a Christian missionary flying over the Amazon in 2001. After receiving information from the CIA that the plane was trafficking narcotics, the Peruvian Air Force shot it down. No narcotics were found, but the Christian missionaries were.
  • Rev. Accleyne Williams – Rev. Williams, a 75-year old retired minister, died of a heart attack in 1994 after struggling with 13 members of a masked, heavily armed Boston SWAT team that stormed his apartment. The police later revealed that an informant had given them incorrect information.
  • Alberto Sepulveda – Alberto was an 11-year old boy living in the Modesto area of California. A narcotics task force including DEA and FBI agents had been warned about Alberto’s father – that he may be “armed and dangerous.” After the police broke into the Sepulveda home, Alberto and his family were ordered to lie face down on the floor as officers pointed guns at their heads. Moments later, one of the officers fired his gun, killing 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda from point-blank range. There were no drugs or guns in the Sepulveda home.

These are only snippets of the stories shared at the Huffington Post, but we encourage you to read them all here. Stay informed! And as always, keep us posted on your stories, news, and events!