Oppose John Walters as new Drug Czar
Decades of studies prove that treatment is
far more effective in reducing drug abuse than jails, informants,
wiretapping, racial profiling, property seizures, border interdiction,
killing missionaries and fumigating South America, but President
George W. Bush has nominated John P. Walters for drug czar
Walters served as deputy director of the drug office under William
Bennett in the other Bush administration, and Bush II has chosen
another dinosaur from daddy who ignores facts and science. Walters
says drug treatment is the "latest manifestation of the
liberals' commitment to a therapeutic state." He opposes
the use of marijuana for medical purposes and says that racial
profiling is a "myth." He has spoken in favor of further
criminal penalties for drug users and does not believe jails
and prisons have too many drug war prisoners, despite a marijuana
arrest in the country every 45 seconds. A man who thinks the
disease of addiction should be punished with prison where drugs
are used regularly is dangerously deluded.
Meanwhile, in the real world, three out of four people in the
U.S. agree the drug war has failed. State governments are responding
to the will of the people by enacting safer and saner policies
than those of federal government. California's passage of proposition
36 in 2000 is estimated to keep 30,000 individuals out of prison
each year and save $500 million in prison-construction costs;
between $200 million and $250 million annually will additionally
be saved in prison operating costs. Voters have approved 14 out
of 15 state drug reform initiatives and referendums. Syringes
are sold over the counter in pharmacies to drug users. Medical
marijuana is grown and dispensed. Funds are being diverted from
interdiction to treatment. Law enforcement can no longer seize
property prior to a conviction in some states. If confirmed by
the U.S. Senate, John P. Walters would move away from policies
that save lives and spare families from needless suffering. Walters'
hawkish ideologies would move the country toward the failed drug
war policies of his former boss and drug czar when crack cocaine
was being introduced into major U.S. cities to fund the U.S.-supported
contras' bloody war in Nicaragua (San Jose Mercury News August
1996 series by Gary Webb).
An official with the drug policy office said Walters' confirmation
was expected before Congress recessed in August. That didn't
happen. An aide to Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate
Judiciary Committee chairman who will oversee the confirmation
hearings after the recess, predicted that Walters' confirmation
would be "controversial," sometimes a code word for
Letters to the editor are a tremendous way to influence public
opinion and senators, especially letters now. Newspapers with
a daily circulation of hundreds of thousands are means to exercise
the right to free speech.
Prisoners who have a letter to the editor published and send
clippings of published letters, along with your mailing address
to the November Coalition, will receive a free Drug War Facts
booklet with over 100 pages of ammunition to blow huge holes
in the drug war propaganda machine.
for information about contacting your two U.S. Senators. Urge
them to oppose Walter' confirmation, or call the Congressional
Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
I oppose the Bush nomination
of John P. Walters for drug czar. The Office of National Drug
Control Policy needs someone capable in charge. Why don't they
hire someone with medical experience who will address addiction
as the disease that it is, or an economist who can assist development
of viable employment opportunities for the poor, or an expert
on education. We need better schools, not more jails for drug
Walters is more of the same kind of leadership that has made
us the world's leading jailer and leading consumer of illicit
drugs. We need a drug czar willing to regulate illegal drugs
in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco and take the money
out of the underground economy created not by drugs, but the
prohibition of drugs.
Walters claims that prisons being filled with non-violent drug
users is a "myth," despite the fact that one U.S. citizen
is arrested every 45 seconds for simple marijuana possession.
Racism in the war on drugs is another "myth," says
Walters, who ignores that blacks comprise 13 percent of the nation's
drug users and account for 70 percent of drug incarcerations.
Call your federal senators and representative today and urge
them to oppose Walters' confirmation because treatment and education
save lives, drug prohibition and prisons destroy them.
Your name, address, phone, email