*Ralph Nader Says Free The Dopers Jail The Corporate Crooks*Submitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 15:04
At a press conference last Friday, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader called for emptying prisons of nonviolent drug offenders and filling them with corporate criminals. Nader's call came as he unveiled a 12-point program aimed at reining in the power of corporations.
"Nonviolent drug offenses are being over prosecuted and corporate crime is being under prosecuted. The Justice Department must begin to reverse course, crank up the crackdown on corporate crime, and end the cruel and inhumane war on nonviolent drug possession," the perennial candidate said.
"The criminal justice system is broken -- so badly that one hardly knows where to begin describing the breakdown," Nader said. "Let's start with the war on drugs, since commentators across the political spectrum recognize its lunacy. We pour almost endless resources -- roughly $50 billion every year -- into catching, trying, and incarcerating people who primarily harm themselves. This insane war on drugs damages communities and drains crucial resources from the police, courts, and prisons. These resources could be better used to combat serious street and corporate crime that directly violates the public's liberty, health, safety, trust, and financial well-being. As with alcoholics and nicotine addicts, the approach to drug addicts should be rehabilitation, not incarceration," he argued.
"The current drug policy has consumed tens of billions of dollars and wrecked countless lives," Nader continued. "The costs of this policy include the increasing breakdown of families and neighborhoods, endangerment of children, widespread violation of civil liberties, escalating rates of incarceration, political corruption, and the imposition of United States policy abroad. In practice, the drug war disproportionately targets people
of color and people who are poverty-stricken. Coercive measures have not reduced drug use, but they have clogged our criminal justice system with nonviolent offenders. It is time to explore alternative approaches and to end this costly war."
Nader also calls for an immediate end to the criminal prosecution of patients for medical marijuana. "The current cruel, unjust policy perpetuated and enforced by the Bush Administration prevents Americans who suffer from debilitating illnesses from experiencing the relief of medicinal cannabis," Nader said. "While substantial scientific and anecdotal evidence exists to validate marijuana's usefulness in treating disease, a deluge of rhetoric from Washington claims that marijuana has no medicinal value."
And he supports industrial hemp. "In need of alternative crops and aware of the growing market for industrial hemp -- particularly for bio-composite products such as automobile parts, farmers in the United States are forced to watch from the sidelines while Canadian, French and Chinese farmers grow the crop and American manufacturers import it from them," Nader said.