Judge John Kane accepts Justice LeDain Award

(Editor's note: The following are U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane, Jr.'s words of acceptance for The Justice LeDain Award at the Annual Drug Policy Foundation Conference in Washington, DC; May 20, 2000.)

Thank you. I am especially honored to receive an award named after a great jurist. I am very grateful to receive it from Judge Gray who has been an inspiration to me. Where he has led, I have followed with enthusiasm and confidence.

I am grateful to this organization and its participants who provide a voice of reason in the midst of nattering propaganda and duplicitous hysteria. While I do not for a moment wish to be understood as diminishing or deprecating the importance of those poor souls who are filling our prisons, or the evisceration of fundamental constitutional righs, I want to make note of the "other victims" of the so-called War On Drugs.

The "other victims" include those people and businesses that can't get into court to have their cases heard.

They are the victims of traditional crimes such as burglary, rape and robbery who can't get justice because the police are tied up with drug cases.

They are the merchants going bankrupt because the police no longer have time to investigate or prosecute bad-check cases.

They are the battered spouses whose abusers are not sent to jail because there's only room there for pot smokers.

They are the physicians and other medical care providers who cannot treat their patients according to conscience and the discipline of their profession.

They are the sick and dying who endure unnecessary pain.

They are the children whose parents are taken from them.

They are the police who have given up honorable and challenging work investigating and detecting crime because they have become addicted to and dependent upon an informant-based system reminiscent of Lenin's dreaded Cheka.

They are the families forced to select one member to plead guilty lest the entire family be charged.

They are the prosecutors and defense attorneys who have turned the temples of justice into plea bargaining bazaars.

They are, most painful to me, the judges who let this happen and don't say a word.

Let us continue our opposition to this infamous war on behalf of all its victims.

Thank you.

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