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10/21/2016 / By Mary Wilder
When you take an honest look at America in 2016, you really have to wonder how this country is still referred to as the Land of the Free. To be perfectly frank, there are some serious infringements on our freedoms — both constitutional and human — taking place today, and there’s no time like the present to address them openly and honestly.
The War on Drugs has been a huge failure all around. Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on this failed attempt to clean up America, which has made drug dealers more violent and imprisoned nonviolent drug users for egregious periods of time. This is even more upsetting if you are of the school of thought that people should be allowed to engage in drug use as long as others are unaffected by their behavior. You may not condone it, but you can acknowledge that it is up to individuals to make their own decisions in regard to drug use.
Now Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union — two of the nation’s top human rights organizations — have called for the complete decriminalization of illegal drugs. If such an action were taken, it would lead to thousands of nonviolent criminals being released from prison and, in turn, saving taxpayers millions of dollars at least. Even if you find drug addiction to be a health concern and an unattractive blight on American society, you have to acknowledge how nice it would be to save loads of money every year by letting people take care of themselves.
David Crary of the Associated Press reports, “Though four states have legalized recreational marijuana use, and five more will vote on that step next month, no state has decriminalized personal use of other common illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Possession of them is often classified as a felony.” It’s an insane fact that cannabis is still illegal in most of the United States, though we seem to be getting closer and closer to a full-fledged legalization every day. At the same time, it is disturbing that it has taken this long to make such little progress.
When we look back on 2016 decades from now, it’s almost certain that we will roll our eyes at the ridiculous regulations and laws that prevent human beings from being truly free. For a nation that prides itself on freedom, we need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.
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