Senator Leahy: After Spending Billions on the War on Drugs…Well, We’ve Lost

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director January 17, 2013

    The Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the most senior member of the Senate, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) again spoke out against the War on Drugs today during a briefing on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s upcoming agenda.

    “The fact that so many people, especially young people, go to prison for a relatively minor thing, a drug offense. And then you ask, why can’t they get jobs afterward? Why do they have problems from then on?

    I think we have spent tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars on the so-called War on Drugs. Well, we’ve lost.” – Sen. Leahy

    Senator Leahy also addressed the disproportionate toll marijuana prohibition takes on people of color:

    “There are too many people, too many young people, too many minorities, too many from the inner city who are serving time in jail for people who might have done the same thing but have the money to stay out and are not there.” – Sen. Leahy

    It seems time does bring wisdom and other members of Congress should take notice and follow the lead of one of their most experience legislators. The time for sensible marijuana policy has come and this reaffirmation of support from an elected official, in such a position of influence as Senator Leahy, is clear proof the winds of reform are blowing strongly in our favor.

    The full remarks are available from C-SPAN here. You can also read further media coverage here.

    59 responses to “Senator Leahy: After Spending Billions on the War on Drugs…Well, We’ve Lost”

    1. Joel: the other Joel says:

      It’s been said many times that the War On Drugs was lost or a complete failure, but the war goes on as if it was never meant to stop.

    2. disvet13 says:

      the new petition for federal legalization…just signed it. tell a friend. get this going, we need to make a statement. it takes 88,ooo signatures to get the issue back in the spotlight.

    3. J.R.H94 says:

      I personally believe that the prohibition is on its way to a screeching halt. We have 2 states which have completely legalized cannabis (1 ounce or less unless grown), 2-3 states who, as of this month, have proposed bills for legalization, and many polls for multiple states which have unveiled the rapid turn of public opinion regarding cannabis and its current illicit status. And all of this has happened within the course of 2 1/2 months! To see that high-ranking government officials such as Leahy are finally realizing that cannabis being a schedule-1 substance causes way more harm than good (or just want to join the winning side of the fight, whichever it is) brings a tear to my eye and gives me hope that this insanity will end in a time not so far from now. There is a “We The People” petition that was released on 1-15-13 with over 10,000 signatures as of 1-17-13 that wants cannabis to be legalized on a federal level. I’ve done my part by signing it so i want all of you who read this to do your part and sign it as well. Lets get our opinions straight to Obama A.S.A.P and let him know that, whether he likes it or not, the end of this prohibition is extremely nigh.

    4. Ted Payne says:

      The people who profit from the drug war know it’s wrong but they don’t care because they are selfish and inconsiderate. The drug war may be almost over but those people will still exist. The real question is who are they planning to take advantage of next?

    5. cannRXic says:

      He is right. but they also need to look at the harm prescription pills are doing to the youth of america i was in a car vs train accident at 18 and started gettin prescription for pain pills and muscle relaxers and nerve pills they got addictive and turned into a huge problem that i still have trouble with and they dont even help with the pain anymore i hate pills so much im from grundy co. tn and pills have ruined the whole community it is devastating to see every time i go back how bad off everyone is percacets cost twelve dollars a piece there because ppl will pay it i self medicate now its wat helped me get threw the withdrawls and treats my symptoms better than any medication Why cant they see wats happening

    6. John k. says:

      It’s just a statement that they’ve lost, nothing like what Paul Whitesell had stated out to the public and mean’t it.
      Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said he would legalize and Tax, now Leahy is stating they’ve lost, so, the next step is to get more heads to come forward and legalize marijuana on the mass of ALL states.

      We have two good heads and who ever else that is smart are finally coming to reasoning. I just hope for the end of marijuana prohibition, that it comes sooner than later.

    7. Joe Nickelsack says:

      Who lost? Not you puppet politicians that have turned a blind eye to the perscutions and prosecutions brought on by the violations of the fourth amendment.So many careers ruined,fired for not job performance, but fired for having some chemical in your system that you enjoy.Lets take all the politician’s bank accounts and seize all of their assets so we can start paying for the damages they perpetuated against the real losers of the drug war. Mr.President and congress it’s time for you to sign the declaration of surrender and then let the court hearings begin.Wages lost,freedom lost, that would be great place to start.

    8. JWLaberdee says:

      Perhaps because it was never meant to stop? Or won or lost. Simply to gobble up lives at atrocious rates and at the expense of the taxpayers for the profits and inflated budgets of the drug war industrial complex.

    9. JWLaberdee says:

      or “be” won

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