This site has answered this question a few times already… but as the decision to keep promoting the War on Drugs, despite the absolute proof of its damage and failure… is so ludicrous and beyond reason that it bears repeating as to the whys and hows that this can happen in this country.
THE QUESTION: “Why would we continue to do things that not only do not work but harm us greatly as individuals, a society and a nation?”
THE ANSWER: “Because “not effective” isn’t the same as “not profitable.”
In a society of unbridled capitalism, what is profitable always wins out over what is right. It is a sad statement of fact. However, when lives are the cost of making money, its time to reevaluate the system that allows that to happen. MANY LARGE CORPORATIONS HAVE A STAKE IN PROFITING OFF OF MASS INCARCERATION, whether its the phone companies, the food companies, the prison corporations, the suppliers of guns and safety devices… the list goes on and on and on… and each of them lobbies congress and donates large sums of money to the candidates that will assure that more and more people are arrested and put behind bars and that more and more laws will allow that to happen. Because of this U.S. Federal and local laws have expanded exponentially and have become so bloated that its virtually impossible to find a full count of them. Its likewise impossible for citizens to know if they are even breaking a law in many cases. The Patriot Act was almost 400 pages long in and of itself and almost all of the people who signed off on it hadn’t read the entire act. Our Federal Tax Code is more than 17,000 pages. And these are just the Federal laws. We then have State and Local codes, the volumes of which take up 10 feet or more of shelf space in libraries. More and more people are being arrested for committing crimes
“The number of cases brought to the federal courts is one of the most serious problems facing them today….
Over the last decade, Congress has contributed significantly to the rising case-load by continuing to
federalize crimes already covered by state laws….The trend to federalize crimes that traditionally have
been handled in state courts not only is taxing the judiciary’s resources and affecting its budget needs,
but it also threatens to change entirely the nature of our federal system.”
Supreme Justice William H. Rehnquist
IN PRISON FOR ORCHIDS
Take the case of 66 year old George Norris and his wife who had his home raided by six agents, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons. The agents were from, believe it or not, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Mr. Norris ended up spending almost two years in prison because he didn’t have the proper paperwork for some of the many orchids he imported from overseas. In 2009 his wife Kathy Norris testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime with other individuals who have been abused by our over criminalization. Read the Norris story and other stories given at the subcommittee here: “
Criminalizing Everyone.” Washington Times.
Its hard to believe that AMERICA BEGAN WITH ONLY THREE FEDERAL LAWS
1. Treason 2. Counterfeiting 3. Piracy (as in literal Pirates on the sea)
We are now at OVER 4000 FEDERAL CRIMES
“The Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, and no other crimes whatsoever …” Thomas Jefferson
RETURN TO HONOR
One man who has done his part to help is Don Kirchner. Don created and oversees the non-profit organization Return To Honor. Their mission is “creating “bridges” of understanding and opportunity for qualified former offenders upon their release from incarceration. As such, we work to bring about better understanding on the part of former offenders of certain behaviors and attitudes that will result in their successful transition back into society as responsible, honorable members of it.”