Monday, December 30, 2019

Expunging injustice – Fred Klonsky

Expunging injustice. – Fred Klonsky


As a teenager and and young man in L.A. in the Sixties I smoked a lot of pot.
Everybody did.
It was cheap and widely available.
And illegal.
Although I wasn’t aware of it – even before The War on Drugs – there were already lots of people in jail for marijuana possession.
In June 1971, Richard Nixon officially declared his “War on Drugs,” claiming that drug abuse was “public enemy number one.”
The rise in recreational drug use in the 1960s led to President Nixon’s focus on targeting marijuana and LSD.   For Nixon, and his generation, pot use was an integral part of the counter culture and the radical political movements of the time.
And, of course, it was.
As part of the War on Drugs Nixon increased federal funding for drug-control agencies and proposed strict measures, such as mandatory prison sentencing, for drug crimes.
Nixon went on to create the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1973. This agency is a special police force committed to targeting illegal drug use and smuggling in the United States.
At the start, the DEA was given 1,470 special agents and a budget of less than $75 million. By 2017 the agency has nearly 5,000 agents and a budget of $2.03 billion.
By the mid-Seventies I no longer smoked at all and have smoked rarely since then.
On a 2015 trip to Amsterdam I bought a joint in what they call a coffee shop. I asked for CONTINUE READING: Expunging injustice. – Fred Klonsky