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Mon Dec 12, 2011, 05:35 AM

June 2011: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) calls for an end to the war on drugs


The War on Drugs was initiated by President Richard Nixon and he said we could have a War on Drugs 40 years ago. And the fact is 40 years later, we've spent nearly 1 trillion dollars on the War on Drugs, we have just as much as drug use in this country as ever before, we've incarcerated millions and millions of people for victimless crimes, and when we get people who sell drugs, which we need to do, all that happens is like a shark's teeth, they're replaced by the next in line... somebody else wanting to make money from a program that the public endorses and supports.

So the War on Drugs has been a terrible mistake.

Medical marijuana is an issue that's come up in this country and most states that have had the opportunity to deal with it have passed it mostly by percentages of over 60 percent. I had a good friend named O.J. Mitchell. O.J. Mitchell was a Navy SEAL and one of the strongest, toughest, best friends I've ever had. When O.J. was 54, he got pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cancer destroys a person, just whittles them away. And the guy was 210 lbs can do all those things SEALs can do, the hand-to-hand, the paratroops and uh—he used medical marijuana and his grandmother and his mother said "Thank god, for the marijuana. It allowed him to have a sense of humor and to eat. It worked." I yield back the balance of my time to urge us to solve the War on Drugs by getting out of it. It is a war. It is a crime. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

from Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/06/rep-steve-cohen-the-war-on-drugs-has-been-a-terrible-mistake/

"Marijuana use has not skyrocketed in the last year, but arrests are vamped up and they use arrest as a basis to get people, particularly people of color where it’s 7 times more likely you’ll be arrested if you’re African American and 4 times more likely you’ll be arrested if you’re Latino and more likely if you’re African American or Latino that you’ll spend a night in jail than if you’re Caucasian,” he noted.

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