Ethan Nadelmann Quotes
6 Sourced Quotes
Of the huge part of our generation who have used drugs, how many have told their parents, to this day, even though they are now successful professionals and parents and what have you? There's a need to come out of the closet and talk openly about drug use. As things stand, the only kind of use that is visible is either the dysfunctional drug use or the media portraits of it. So there's this incredibly skewed view of what drugs are about.
Who are we? We are people who love drugs. They say we like drugs. It's true. Especially marijuana. Marijuana has been good for us. God put it here for a reason and we need to find a way to live with it in peace. But we are also people who hate drugs. We have suffered from overdoses and addiction. But we know that drugs are here to stay, and prohibition and the criminal justice system is not the way to deal with it. And we are people who don't care about drugs. People who care about the Constitution, who care about 2.2 million Americans behind bars, who care about fundamental rights and freedoms.
There are almost half a million Americans behind bars today for breaking a drug law. The United States incarcerates more people for drug law violations than Western Europe incarcerates for everything, and they have more people than we do. There were 50,000 people behind bars on drug charges in America in 1980; now we have almost a tenfold increase. Yet extraordinarily few politicians are talking about that.
There's a sense that the drug war has proven its failure. Five or six years ago, people would say, "Well, we haven't really tried it." It's hard to say that with credibility any more. People tend to get bored with old ideas. and the war on drugs is becoming an old idea. There's a kind of natural pendulum or circularity, where people begin to think that change is inevitable. And that's going to happen in the drug area.