by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced." — Albert Einstein
IN MAY 1973 New York passed a set of laws that required judges to impose sentences of 15 years to life imprisonment for anyone convicted of selling two ounces (57 grams) or possessing four ounces of “narcotic drugs”—usually cocaine, heroin or marijuana. They came to be known as the Rockefeller laws, after New York’s then-governor, Nelson Rockefeller. They sent New York’s prison population soaring, from an average of fewer than 75 inmates per 100,000 New Yorkers between 1880 and 1970 to five times that rate by the end of the century. Between 1987 and 1997 drug cases accounted for 45% of new prisoners.
[…] The pattern was repeated around the country. As a result, America’s prison population, like New York’s, rose fivefold from 1980 to 2009. The impact has been particularly strong in poor and minority communities: one in 11 black adults are under correctional supervision, compared with one in 45 whites. And 25% of children in much of Harlem and the South Bronx have had one of their parents imprisoned. +
Ron Paul Would Pardon Nonviolent Drug Offenders
Drug War Deserters: Former police officers and judges are among those pushing for an end to the “war on drugs.”