war on drugs

If the legislature wants to do something to make NC safer

If the legislature wants to do something to make NC safer, they should take the simple, proven action of decriminalizing marijuana. The GOP has already demonstrated they know how to cut and paste ALEC legislation from other states. In this case, just grab the Colorado law do a search and replace. By doing so, the General Assembly could:

The forgotten victims of the idiotic "war on drugs"

Too young to understand, but old enough to suffer:

"They're losing their parent in those critical years of child development, and so there are some long-standing impacts," he says. "It can increase a child's mental-health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and it can hamper educational achievement in that child."

Bell says even the simplest of things such as talking to a parent over the phone can be cost prohibitive for families. "It's incredibly costly for kids and families to have telephone calls with an incarcerated parent," says Bell. "And that makes it really challenging for them to stay in touch with that parent."

That phone problem might seem trifling to those of you who are lucky enough to have not experienced it, but those incremental fees do add up. But it's also indicative of the entire legal process. It may be months before an actual court date, but if you can't come up with 10% of the bond some judge has decided is "fair," you're stuck in jail, unable to see your family except via a television screen (if you're lucky), and of course unable to work and provide for said family. The entire system, from the time of arrest to the end of probation, is filled with unequal treatment based on your ability to produce dollars upon demand. It's not supposed to be like that.

A question for Thom Tillis

Dear Mr. Business Consultant and soon-to-be Senator:

Let's say you have a client who has spent $7 billion over the past ten years with less than nothing to show for it. Would you recommend that client keep on spending and spending and spending on its failed strategy, or would you change the strategy.

It's time to end the war on drugs in North Carolina

It's hard to understand why Governor McCrory and Republicans in the General Assembly are spending their time and our money "fixing" things that aren't broken instead of looking for opportunities to lead our state forward. Eight other states already have industrial hemp laws in place, and are poised to capitalize on this new cash crop. Many more have already cut their enormous costs of incarceration for minor drug offenders. Meanwhile, our legislature is doubling down on putting more of our fellow citizens in jail.

America's war on drugs has failed in every imaginable way. Changes in marijuana laws alone could save our nation more than $40 billion each year. For North Carolina, that translates into big bucks. We're currently spending hundreds of millions to achieve absolutely nothing.

Industrial hemp could be even more important to our state's economy. Industry groups have produced estimates ranging upwards of $500 billion annually for industrial hemp on a global basis. We need to find a way to participate in this growing economy.

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