Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Untitled Document

This edition of The Razor Wire is available as a full size, full color, fully printable Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

I Got Published!

July 24, 2006

Time For Congress To Give Felons A Second Chance

All women are not alike, all teenagers are not alike, all African-Americans are not alike, all grandfathers are not alike, all prisoners are not alike.

Our nation's prisons are populated with far more first-time, non-violent drug offenders than with murders and child molesters.

Because there are more than 2 million incarcerated Americans, chances are great that you know someone in prison. Chances are you are related to that someone. Chances are it's the young man who stocked the supermarket shelves, someone who was in your high school class or the guy who worked on your car. Chances are none of those people committed heinous crimes, but they made poor decisions when drugs were first offered them.

We demand that those men and women pay their "debt to society," but that debt is never paid in full. For the rest of their lives they will be labeled felons. They will have an invisible "F" branded on their foreheads. They may not be able to vote in some states, will not be able to own a gun, will not be able to practice law or medicine or teach or be a barber/beautician or a police officer, will not be able to move to another state, will have difficulty finding a job for which he or she is qualified, will have trouble opening a charge account, will have to be extra careful with whom they speak (it might be another felon), will not be able to live in public housing, may not be able to secure a student loan, may not be able to pass a security check. Lots of "will not be able to ..."

It is time for us to take a good, hard look at who those people are behind bars. We are spending $28,000 a year per prisoner to lock up men and women who instead should be receiving treatment, who should be paying taxes, who should be contributing to our world, who should be home with their families -- not in prison. Chances are they are learning how to be better lawbreakers rather than how to be better citizens. We need to demand that our representatives in Washington D.C. reconsider the sentences that are being meted out to offenders. It is time for Congress to pass HR 1704, the Second Chance (or the Re-entry) Act. Now is the time.

Larry Schulenberg, Council Bluff, IA

April 11, 2006 - Tampa Tribune (FL)

Gooden A Drug War Victim

Regarding "Broken Promise" about Dwight Gooden (front page, April 6): Americans are frustrated because we've been unable to stamp out cocaine. Gooden's case is a high-profile example of how hard we try. He didn't stop using, so we threatened him with jail. He still didn't stop, so we branded him a lifelong felon. We can't stamp out cocaine, so we poison the coca farms. We can't poison all the coca, so we seduce Andes politicians with billions for them to do it for us. They fail, so we send in mercenaries to help. When they fail, the U.S. Army will go in.

By that time, our drug-testing equipment will have been perfected to measure nanograms, even picograms, of urine-borne drugs. Then the cycle will amp up as more Dwight Goodens are discovered.

We Americans are on the wrong track.

John Chase, Palm Harbor, FL

June 2, 2006 - Muskogee Phoenix (OK)

The People Speak: Government Coerces Drug Convictions

In regards to the story "Three Convicted Of Drug Conspiracy," which involved Randon and Brandon Sallis:

With a conspiracy charge the government doesn't need evidence to convict you. They just need their informants, aka "snitches," to take the stand and tell all.

Nobody knows if their testimony is truthful since they aren't given a polygraph test. Informants are trying to get out of jail so they say what the government wants them to say, regardless if it's all lies.

Might I add that it's very common that these informants don't even know the defendants. It's not fair at all. Randon has never been convicted for any crime. He was previously enrolled in college for computer networking and was CEO of his own record company.

He is not violent, but none of this was brought up in trial, and he will face 20 years to life, but we let violent offenders and child molesters have another chance. It makes no sense.

About 60 percent of federal prisoners are drug offenders. They are required to serve 85 percent of their time whereas violent offenders serve an average of 54 percent. African Americans make up the majority of drug war prisoners.

Why? Because Blacks and Hispanics are going to be harassed and arrested for drugs more often than whites; and this is also a reason why the sentencing guidelines are so high, because racism is still alive and at its strongest, and other races want to see blacks locked up for life.

Innocent people are being harassed every day, and innocent kids are left without mothers and fathers. Blacks need to wake up and stick together and see how their race is being locked up for life, and other races convicted of more serious crimes get less time.

I can't see how ATF agents, jurors and the district attorney can sleep at night knowing you put somebody's child, father and friend away for life.

Go to and read stories of people incarcerated for life over drugs. This could be your child, parents or friend one day.

Let's stop this injustice.

Shayla Mackey (Princess Black), Stillwater, OK

April 26, 2006 - Arizona Republic (AZ)

We're Blowing It Again With Hype

Researchers and physicians from across the world warned the media about putting on the hype years ago when crack cocaine was the latest tactic to gain more funding for law enforcement and prisons. The damage to children was largely due to the media, not the drug.

Once again, the media are repeating the same with meth, and the children will suffer far greater consequences. By repeating past hype, the drug of the year becomes the latest ploy in gaining more money to pay for programs that do nothing to help those addicted to the drugs, much less provide services that will ensure their children are able to succeed in life.

Robin Scoins, Peoria, AZ

Get The Facts!

Send us a copy of your published editorial or letter -- if we print yours in The Razor Wire, you'll receive a free copy of the 5th Edition of Drug War Facts! (Published by Common Sense for Drug Policy)

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact