Drug War Horrors and Hope on Video

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The Drug Policy Alliance has a good little video, focusing on a young man who got two years in prison for selling one joint’s worth of marijuana to an undercover cop.

Aside from the evil of the drug law, and the evil of entrapment, I always wondered about the hypocrisy here. Surely, if selling, buying or possessing drugs were an actual criminal act, akin to theft or murder, it would be wrong for an undercover cop to engage in it, right? When I was in elementary school, the police came to teach kids the wickedness of drugs, bringing with them a big display of every illicit drug imaginable. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed — they had it all. And I wondered, If having a drug is a crime, why aren’t the police criminals? They don’t usually shoot someone in the head in front of school kids to demonstate what murder is. Why can they possess something if merely possessing it is a crime?

And when you make such a non-violent activity a crime, it’s not long before you start shoving peaceful people in cages for two years, at a cost of $100,000 or so to taxpayers. I really believe that one day, people will look back at the war on drugs with the same contempt and disgust with which they look back at slavery, the witch trials, and the Inquisition. At least, I hope they do.

One bit of hope — some law enforcement officials are seeing the total disaster of the drug war. See this video of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition).

Thanks to Pete Christensen for the links.

2:51 pm on August 21, 2006