The War on Drugs is a 40-year old failure as a social, economic, education, law enforcement, criminal justice, or national security policy - Drug Prohibition, like Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920's-1930's, must be ended by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana at the federal level, and allow individual states to decide their own local policy and control over this drug.
Heroin, cocaine, other so-called "hard drugs" should be, likewise, legalized and turn over to the medical professionals (doctors and pharmacologists) and public health officials and departments to assess objectively best practices to reduce or eliminate harm. Science-based recommended policies should be developed and implemented. Again, allow local state control should have the final word on local policies.
All drugs must be managed, controlled, inspected for safety and distribution by the American government on behalf of the American people like hamburger meat, vegetables and fruits, aspirin or cancer drugs, not by drug gangs locally or drug kingpins overseas.
Ending the War on Drugs will create new jobs.
Ending the War on Drugs will be safer for families and communities: urban inner cities, suburban towns or rural communities alike.
Ending the War on Drugs will bring back limited tax dollars to public schools and higher education institutions instead of wasting more money on the vicious and wasteful cycle of arrest, prosecution and incarceration that cost taxpayers more and more money each year with no substantial benefit to local towns and cities in return.
Ending the War on Drugs will spur economic growth where investments are driven away by high-crime levels and the uncertainty of criminality brought on by drug gangs who benefit from drug prohibition's obscene profit margins.
Ending the War on Drugs will diminish the racial divide exacerbated by the disparity in enforcement and prosecution and an unequal ability to defend against wrongful arrests and unfair prosecutions between the rich and poor, Black/Latino and White, urban and suburban/rural.
Ending the War on Drugs will diminish and end our 40-year federal government's (from Nixon to Obama administrations) current wasteful international-national security strategies and thinking that are conflicting and senseless (e.g. why spend almost $2 billion per month in Afghanistan (and Iraq) for the past ten years where poppies/opium/heroin is grown and cultivated without US military intervention for fear that Afghan peasant farmers will be recruited by the Taliban, while in Colombia and the Andean Region of South America, we spend more tax dollars trying to spray farms and virgin forest lands with weed killers from airplanes where coca is grown by peasant farmers without significant results in decreasing or eliminating drug supply and drug use/abuse at home. First, we pay the Afghans by building their irrigations systems and roads for them to grow poppy and not join the Taliban, then (second) we pay to spray the Colombian poor peasants to kill their poppy, coca or marijuana plants, as well as their legitimate crops (in the past ten years we have sprayed glysophate-weed killer across Colombia in an area the size of Connecticut), and then (third) we pay again to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate drug users/abusers here at home, to no real gain in winning the so-called War on Drugs.
For Connecticut, ending the War on Drugs could mean "taking the lead" in developing a new healthcare industry with possibly creating 10,000 new jobs in science-based treatment on-demand and prevention programs by making Connecticut a regional leader and powerhouse in the field of drug rehabilitation and supervised heroin maintenance and recovery programs. Design Connecticut to be what Minnesota is to alcohol abuse and alcohol recovery programs.
Could we not add another 10,000 new jobs in the development of proper horticultural, organic-focused and safe cultivation, marketing and distribution of marijuana and hemp products from our own fallow, former tobacco fields of CT, while pharmaceutical grade heroin can be processed by our CT-based pharmaceutical industry and regulated by the state?
Create a 6,000 new "Jail to Jobs" initiative, by reducing Connecticut's prison population by one third, releasing all non-violent prisoners convicted of drug-related charges for possession or low-level sale activities, and complemented by a robust, efficacious and sustained Fatherhood/Motherhood "prep schools" to reunite and strengthen families across generations, especially in racial minority dominated city-centers. Establish a de-mobilization program for former (drug) gang members willing to renounce their prior ties and who are willing to re-establish and rebuild their personal and economic relationships with their families and communities. This follows the examples of government programs developed and implemented to reintegrate former "child soldiers" in Latin America and Africa. Why have physically and mentally healthy men and women warehoused in jail, at the cost of millions in taxpayer monies without preparing them adequately for re-integration to their home communities after long prison sentences? With untreated drug problems, the rate of recidivism is extremely high. After a thorough and proper screening, complete with psychological and psychiatric examinations and background checks, many of our 18,000 inmates in state prisons could potentially be turned into active, contributing members, taxpayers versus tax wasters, if allowed a "second" chance, even if they are still addicted to drugs, but under the care of a doctor and addiction specialist. Many were/are swept up by the draconian drug policies implemented by the movement spurned on by the Reagan "Just say No" policy of the 1980's. A judicial and law enforcement legacy we live with, and pay more taxes for, to this day: again wasteful, senseless and counterproductive.
Possibility of another 5,000 new jobs in the creation of another "CIA" (Connecticut Information Agency), a web-based information collection, analysis and management private-public initiative that will collect, process and manage information not related to national security or homeland security, but could collect (open sources) and disseminate information, such as a national information tracking system of repeat violators of child support orders, or unscrupulous business owners like dishonest general contractors who travel across state lines to avoid local complaints and prosecution while leaving behind a trail of deceived and cheated consumers, mostly unsuspecting elderly customers on fixed incomes and limited resources. This information agency can save taxpayers millions in lost or stolen money and collect unpaid child support payments due to deserving children and families lessening the state and federal government's burden.
2,000 new jobs by asking the DOD (Department of Defense) to move AFRICOM from Stuttgart, Germany to the Windsor Locks - New Haven area complementing the UCONN (Storrs) - Yale (New Haven) axis of academic support for AFRICOM. We need to draw down unnecessary foreign bases for work and military missions that could be accomplished just as well here at home, and in Connecticut. For our military personnel, the cost of living is definitely less in CT than in Germany, and Connecticut benefits from local support contracts now going to the German economy.
10,000 new jobs in development of new technologies and new surface ship-submarine designs, such as smaller, non-nuclear, (even unmanned) submarines that are capable meeting future national security threats without the exorbitant cost of present day nuclear powered submarines. New London cannot be allowed to operate as if the Navy will continue to always need nuclear submarines alone. Also, there's a pressing need to design new maritime vessels that can complement for now, and eventually, replace today's "super" aircraft carriers that are too big and too expensive, and worst, extremely vulnerable to attack and destruction with today's high tech, low cost weapons technologies.
Single Payer program. Healthcare for all.
Where are all the smart and innovative people? Let's bring them to Connecticut. Let's pay them. Give them incentives to move here with government funds or private capital with competitive wages, innovative housing opportunities, and a good standard of living. Wind, solar, ocean currents, recycled energy systems, etc. should be vigorously explored, exploited and implemented. We must end our crippling dependence on foreign sources of energy, as we should end the War on Drugs.
Any veteran with an honorable discharge who is in jail for drug charges (possession, minor drug sales violations) should be given amnesty at once and allowed to be processed and helped by the Vet to Vet assistance programs at local VA centers. Any veteran with a BCD (bad conduct discharge) or less than honorable discharge must have his/her case reviewed on a case by case basis to review if their discharge was due to drug charges related to a service connected condition or situation.
All honorably discharged veterans who cannot afford an attorney should be/will be provided a lawyer by the state, in the same way, indigent parents or children are provided a lawyer by the state in child protection and delinquency cases, or suspects in criminal cases, when having to fight the DVA bureaucracy for housing, medical evaluations, benefits and other conflicts, especially those related to denial or delays in delivery of services properly due to the aggrieved veteran.
All veterans will be accorded "fast track" treatment at all levels of the criminal justice system, especially when related to homelessness, drug use/abuse, and mental health incapacity/disability.