Sunday, February 28, 2010
Finding a candidate with something important to say is a hard thing to do in modern politics. There's the focus groups and the internal polling and the image consultants as well as the need to please your biggest contributors by totally avoiding looking at some of the truths that permeate our society. Truths like the War on Drugs that has so successfully turned a large slice of the citizenry into the slaves of the 21st century.
Guys like David Montané are a rare breed. Here's the latest post from his FaceBook page as he looks at one aspect of injustice in America today.
I cannot restrict myself to simply attempting to get medical marijuana approved here in Georgia, when this much larger problem so drastically affects our freedoms and our taxes:
Felons convicted of "moral turpitude" cannot vote in Georgia. Moral turpitude includes "sales of narcotics or other illegal drugs" (a "VICTIMLESS crime", which is an oxymoron), but hypocritically does NOT include "unlawful sale of liquor" (also a victimless crime, but of a socially acceptable drug). Moral turpitude also does not include "fighting", "simple battery", or "simple assault", even though these are violent crimes. So violent people and moonshiners can vote, but marijuana and cocaine sellers cannot, no matter how peace-loving they may be.
28% of all new entries to state prison last year were charged with drug-related crimes. A typical convict is a first-time offender, healthy, single, black, Christian male with a full-time job who was raised in a family with no criminality, no alcoholism, no drug abuse and was not subjected to frequent beatings. Although they may be able to restore their voting privileges after successfully serving their sentence, most do not know how. Also, there are so many collateral consequences to criminal charges that just being arrested can totally alter the direction of a young pleasure-seeker's life, setting them on a path to state-inflicted "perdition".
Georgia law should protect citizens' lives, liberty and property. But since marijuana and cocaine (and cocaine's cheap but nasty substitute, methamphetamines) are preferred over alcohol by minorities and poor people, but are socially unacceptable to the wealthy and the ruling class, property rights related to marijuana and cocaine are not enforced. It's become a joke to point out examples of drug-users who told police officers that someone stole their drugs. The drug-user may live in a mental fog, but their sense of justice is still intact. Someone stole from me! Who cares that it was something other people don't think I should ingest? It gives me pleasure - they are thinking - someone stole it and I want justice! Here is an officer of the law whose job is to protect my property...momentarily in their panic, they forget that the law is not on their side and there is no justice for them unless they get a weapon of their own to protect their own property. But then if they get a weapon to protect their stash, that aggravates the problem and puts them at risk of becoming even more criminal.
Anyone who holds illicit drugs automatically loses their property rights. Therefore, self-defense when illicit drugs are involved is seen as a crime. I, for one, would not want to be caught with an ounce of marijuana, a smoking gun, and a dead intruder, especially if I were black! And defending your stash from the law enforcers who should be helping people protect their property is considered particularly heinous. I have not found any statistics (not even sure this is tracked by anyone) showing the percentage of violent convicts who were merely trying to protect their personal or business property, but it is well-known that much of gang violence is all about protecting the gang's business inventory (drugs) from theft, and securing the gang's neighborhood ("turf") from violent intruders.
Once in prison, our wrongly-convicted, probably-black citizen is forced to work for extremely low pay or more likely no pay, often for big companies like Motorola or Victoria's Secret (according to the Southern Center for Human Rights), which can thereby skirt the minimum wage laws and compete more favorably in the high-stakes electronics or lingerie markets. Slavery still exists, by another name.
Most people drastically reduce their drug and alcohol consumption after their twenties. Most do not become addicted, but if they do, drug addiction should be treated similarly to alcohol addiction. Addiction is a health problem, not a crime problem. At minimum, victimless "crimes" should NOT be considered an arrestable offense. Instructing or allowing our law enforcement officers to focus on victimless crimes disguises continued racial discrimination and is a huge waste of taxpayer money. Our state and local taxes would decrease substantially just from this one change, and crime would be greatly reduced. End drug prohibition now!
Please elect me, David Montané, to be your Georgia state senator in District 42. I will write legislation and speak out in the General Assembly to decriminalize the victimless actions of our citizens.
Posted by Shane Bruce at 5:03 PM