Cole is passionate in his belief that the drug war is steeped in racism, that it is needlessly destroying the lives of young people, and that it is corrupting our police. Cole's discussions give his audience an alternative perspective of the US war on drugs from the view of a veteran drug-warrior turned against the war.Cole is part of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), which recently featured a letter to our new head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske. While the letter voices some concerns LEAP has with some Kerlikowske's statements, the Wall Street Journal had a story yesterday about his plan to "end the war on drugs." The article states,
The Obama administration is likely to deal with drugs as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice.The article goes on to say,
Already, the administration has called for an end to the disparity in how crimes involving crack cocaine and powder cocaine are dealt with. Critics of the law say it unfairly targeted African-American communities, where crack is more prevalent.
The drug czar doesn't have the power to enforce any of these changes himself, but Mr. Kerlikowske plans to work with Congress and other agencies to alter current policies.I think it will take some major political capital to convince members of Congress who are up for re-election and worried about being smeared as weak on crime to get behind some of these changes, but I also think we're getting closer. Something to keep an eye on.
Also, did you know that the ACLU has a blog?
And finally, check out Lock-Up from This American Life.