Omni Reboot: The War on Drugs Winds Down


As a fan of Omni Magazine circa late 80s/early 90s, it’s great to see they’re back online and are on the right side of the War on the War on Drugs. This is an excerpt of a recent cannabis news roundup by Esther Kim for Omni’s Columns section:

The war on drugs may finally turn to ash in the year 2015 if progressive politics continue to reform outdated laws. Voters in Colorado, Washington, and the nations capital took to the polls and overwhelmingly chose to repeal cannabis prohibition. In a surprising move California de-felonized hard drugs in a surprising move. While Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced they will no longer arrest citizens for low-quantity cannabis offenses. Americans are fed up with nonsensical laws and while change is slow it is burning up outdated edicts.

The orthodox strategy for combating drug use has been criticized as racially charged and unethical. New York Cities policy change was on the heel of reform to the controversial Stop-Question-and-Frisk program, which targeted minorities for random checks and lead to the arrest of citizens when found in possession of minor quantities of a drug. The United States has the largest incarceration rate in the world with a large number of inmates behind bars for nonviolent drug offenses, and a vast majority of those inmates are minorities.

Studies have shown that black Americans are arrested for cannabis possession far more frequently than whites, yet both groups use cannabis at the same rate. While a majority of people recognize the lunacy of prison sentencing for drug use, there is a powerful lobbyist group sponsored by the private prison system that has a key interest in filling prisons with people. When a stocks value is directly related to the number of people behind bars there is a serious issue in the justice system. Drug policy is certain to be a potent issue in the 2016 elections, with fierce debates for and against reform.

Check out the rest of the excellent Column here:


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