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This month marks the anniversary of the day my home was attacked in military fashion by my local police, who after breaking down my door and running through my home with automatic rifles while screaming, handcuffed me and took me away to jail while my young granddaughter and daughter watched. Luckily we didn’t have a pet dog or it would have most assuredly been shot. Most know my story but in summary, this dramatic assault occurred for one reason only; I had ordered less than a months worth of some meds online so that I could live, which in theory could be gotten from any doctor. I assure you, there is nothing more to the story as far as why they did what they did and what my “crime” was. It’s a matter of public record.
The attack happened on the 5th of November 2010. To tell you the truth, that day came and went this year without a thought. Although I didn’t remember on the exact day it actually occurred, it is definitely an event that I will never forget. It was the day my reality was given a huge perspective shift and while not pleasant, it was certainly instructive and cause for growth. I’m a huge fan of growth.
I’ve had a pretty busy year, which included creating a web site full of resources on the topic at hand and also writing and publishing a book. So, I thought in tribute to that life experience, I would list what I’ve learned this past year. Some things I knew about but had not experienced first hand until now.
THINGS I LEARNED THE PAST YEAR
1. If you can’t afford the astronomical cost for medical testing or treatment you indeed do not get tested or treated. The medical system is about profit only.
2. Millions who suffer severe chronic pain do not get relief because of the prohibition/drug war.
3. American prisons are the fullest in the world because of the prohibition/drug war.
4. The wide spread abuse that goes on in our prisons make GITMO seem like summer camp.
5. Constitutional and civil rights are ignored frequently because of the prohibition/drug war.
6. The wide spread corruption seen in law enforcement is because of the prohibition/drug war.
7. Over 150 military SWAT raids a day (over 70,000 a year) happen on nonviolent citizens because of the prohibition/drug war.
8. A great deal of our crime and violence is because of the prohibition/drug war.
9. Asset forfeiture is used and abused constantly because of the prohibition/drug war.
10. Police corruption is at an all time high because of the prohibition/drug war.
11. The reason we have prohibition and the drug war? Corporation profit and mass funding for those who fight it.
It was a very educational year for me, though what was learned was not pleasant. In fact, its downright scary. There are many things in our society that cause a good deal of damage but the War on Drugs seems to trump them all. And the reasons it continues, despite facts and proof of its damage, are the most disturbing of all.
Thousands of law enforcement officers, ex-narcotics agents, judges, lawyers, prison workers etc. speak out constantly and with great integrity against prohibition and the War on Drugs, having seen the damage it is doing and the lives being lost because of it. They know it does not work. They know the huge cost of its failure. They’ve seen men, women and children killed because of it. They’ve lost fellow officers because of it. They’ve seen families torn apart and destroyed because of it. They’ve seen the system so overburdened that they are not able to focus the real crimes because of it.
“Jailing people because they put certain chemicals into their bloodstream is a gross misuse of police and criminal law. Jailing drug users does not lessen drug use, and incarceration usually destroys the person’s life and does immense harm to that person’s family and neighborhood.” ~Joseph D. McNamara, Former Police Chief, 35 years in law enforcement.
There does seem to be a glimmer of hope as more and more American’s are realizing that things are not as they seem and what they have been told is not always the truth. If only social change were not such a slow process. But 40 plus years of lies are hard to undo. Again, I’m a huge fan of constant learning and growth; so, here is to my year of eduction and here’s hoping my next year will bring more of the same. I only hope its of a less dramatic nature.
I am a 52 year old mother, wife of 34 years, voter, student, web designer and author. (Though my “right” to vote has now been stripped away)