Land of the Free?

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040206.html

We call ourselves the “Land of the Free.”  Are we?  If we are the land of the free, then why do we have a larger prison population than China?  China isn’t going to win any humanitarian awards soon, but they only have 1.5 million prisoners in a country with a population of 1.3 billion (1 in 866 people).  The Unite States prison population is 2.03 million in a country with only 304 million people. (1 in 150 people).

Why are there so many Americans in jail if we are a free nation?  I am not suggesting that we release the murderers, rapists, ant thieves, but that is a small percentage of the prison population.  A large percentage of people are in jail on drug charges and only drug charges.

If we are truly the “Land of the Free”, as is suggested in our National Anthem, then we should allow people the right to make their own choices about drugs.  (As long as the drug user doesn’t violate anybody else’s rights.)

People shouldn’t use drugs, but many people do.  Addiction is an illness, not a crime.  If we’re going to arrest people for addiction, then we might as well arrest people for having heart attacks.  Both can be prevented, and one can argue that heart attacks cost more to the economy than drug usage.

End the “War on Drugs” and put the money used to incarcerate people to better use.

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Filed under libertarian, policy, spending

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