USA. Attorney General prepares public opinion for an end to the war on drugs
USA. Attorney General starts preparing public opinion to end the war on drugs
In a sensational speech, USA Attorney General Eric Holder has made some unique and ground breaking comments which signal further softening of the USA 'hardline' approach to the war on drugs. The comments did not get quite the recognition that they deserved in the mainstream press, perhaps because of the media attention which had been given to Dr Sanjay Gupta (CNN's main medical correspondent) who announced that he had switched sides and was now a convert to medical marijuana.
In his speech Holder said that “As the so-called ‘war on drugs’ enters its fifth decade, we need to ask whether it, and the approaches that comprise it, have been truly effective.” He went on to say, “...too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” In an interview with NPR last week Holder went on to add that .. “The war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old. There have been a lot of unintended consequences. There’s been a decimation of certain communities, in particular communities of color.”
Clearly, this is not the rhetoric of a man about to take a tough position on drugs. It sounds more like a man trying to prepare public opinion for a change to a new, softer, position. The other comment that should be made about Holder's speech is that this clearly had approval from Presidential level in order to make such a complete about-turn. It also makes it easier for Obama to reduce future federal support for maintaining the war on drugs. Not only are the people at state-level voting to legalize cannabis, but the Attorney General himself no longer has the stomach or belief to maintain the socio-economic expense of an unwinnable war on drugs.
Who would have thought it. The Attorney General of the USA starts to publically question whether the war on drugs ever achieved anything. These amazing times for cannabis just keep coming.
The full interview from Eric Holder is here and worth a read http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2013/08/attorney-general-eric-holder-issues-major-sentencing-changes-begins-question-war-drugs