Forum Attacks United State’s Crackdown on Drugs

Forum Attacks United State’s Crackdown on Drugs
Posted by FoM on April 30, 2001 at 09:04:18 PT
By Jonathan Goldman, Campus Reporter
Source: Badger Herald
The fight against the war on drugs took center stage last weekend as the UW-Madison Students for a Sensible Drug Policy held its first drug policy reform conference on campus. The conference brought together speakers from around the country to address social and political issues relating to the government’s attempted crackdown on drug trafficking and usage. The prevalent theme of the conference was that the U.S. government’s current war on drugs is ineffective. 
David Borden, executive director of the Drug Reform Coordination Network, cited the immense number of prisoners incarcerated on drug convictions as one of the main problems of the drug war, as well as mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. Borden, along with other panelists, argued for the legalization of all drugs within the United States. “If we legalize drugs, we can make the condition of addiction less destructive,” Borden said. “With the current high cost of drugs, users are driven to desperate measures.” Borden said the goal of drug reforms should be regulation of substances, similar to the regulation of alcohol. “I’m obviously not in favor of putting crack cocaine in the checkout line in grocery stores,” Borden said, “but the illicit drug market is killing people’s chances of hope in the inner cities.” Keynote speaker and author of Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out Mike Gray agreed with Borden, saying that in areas where drugs are legalized, such as Holland, the rate of use among people of all age groups is substantially lower than in the United States. In Holland, marijuana is available in coffee shops to any user over the age of 18. “When drug use becomes routine, it isn’t considered cool anymore,” Gray said. “There is nothing romantic about hanging out with Dutch businessmen in a coffeehouse while they have coffee and a lunchtime toke.” One of the topics most relevant to students in attendance was the Higher Education Act, in which students applying for financial aid are asked to report any criminal convictions related to illegal drugs. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid form states that a drug-related conviction does not automatically make students ineligible for aid; however, many students were denied financial aid last year due to prior convictions, according to Borden. Organizers and speakers alike considered the conference a great success and are hopeful that further changes will be made in the near future. Gray said recent actions in several states across the country will catalyze the destruction of the drug war. According to Gray, the Hawaii legislature’s recent action toward legalizing marijuana for medical purposes reflects citizens’ growing dissatisfaction with the drug war and is the precursor for decriminalization of marijuana nationwide. “The government will soon be in the embarrassing position of fighting a war that citizens don’t support,” Gray said. “We’ve tried imprisoning our way out of the problem, but that obviously hasn’t worked.” UW-Madison SSDP President Jacob Davis is optimistic about the prospects of success through SSDP’s efforts. “We have very motivated, determined people working to make a change,” Davis said. “We won’t let even the largest obstacles stand in our way of bettering society.” Complete Title: Forum Attacks United State’s Crackdown on Drug TraffickingSource: Badger Herald (WI)Author: Jonathan Goldman, Campus ReporterPublished: April 30, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Badger HeraldWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Student's For Sensible Drug Policy Reform Coordination Network Policy Forum of Wisconsin Gray: How We Got Into This Mess Loans are Casualties in Drug War of Gray On The Drug War Articles - SSDP
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Comment #1 posted by freedom fighter on April 30, 2001 at 17:18:59 PT
It is the young
that makes the difference..But, hey, folks, people who are 30-60ish.. Where is the spirit?Have we given up?It was never about DRUGSIt was all about, money, money...
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