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english essay 4 - Philip Dollar Professor Hensley...

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Philip Dollar Professor Hensley ENGL-1301-8425 26 June 2009 Blow the Kush in Their Face Mark Young lay motionless in his cold jail cell contemplating whether or not he was dreaming about what was happening to him. It seemed inscrutable that he had just been sentenced to life in prison for the brokering of marijuana, even though he did not even touch the marijuana first hand. Young was placed in Leavenworth Penitentiary, which contains some of the most dangerous criminals in the world, even though Young had no violent history whatsoever. Because of the high mandatory minimum laws for marijuana abuse in the United States, people who commit non-violent crimes are being placed in maximum security prisons for life, like Young. Instead of creating a future for the youth of America, the government is spending money on prisons that hold men who are not a threat to society. The funds spent toward enforcing marijuana laws could be redirected in areas such as education to benefit our society as a whole. The decriminalization of marijuana is disappointingly frowned upon by most of America; however if marijuana is decriminalized, the effects would change our world in several positive ways. In the first place, the war on drugs was the first major attack against marijuana which has many Americans torn on which side to take on this issue. One American, President Ronald Reagan, was sure he was completely opposed to the use of drugs and made it clear that he would castigate those who chose to do so. “We’re taking down the
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Dollar 2 surrender flag that has flown over so many drug efforts. We’re running up a battle flag,” Reagan said during his presidency in order to present his viewpoint clearly. Reagan wasn’t kidding when he mentioned a battle flag considering the amount of actual military involvement used against the American people. Both Reagan and his wife Nancy pushed to get harsh punishments for drug abusers and, “the Reagan administration passed many bills to boost prison terms, allow for seizure of property without conviction, and ordered the CIA to become active in the domestic drug war”(Malmo-Levine 1). D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), a program to help “educate” children during their rudimentary schooling, was yet another thing created during Reagan’s reign in the White House. Nancy Reagan coined the phrase “Just say no” which is still currently used for anti-drug campaigns. Mandatory minimums are extremely high due to the Reagan administration and “the greatest legacy is a doubling of the federal prison population, a deep erosion of civil liberties, hundreds of thousands of families destroyed, and the launching of a drug war that continues to tear Americans apart” (Malmo-Levine 1).
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