At Salon: A Tipping Point is Happening – an interview with filmmaker Eugene Jarecki
We became an enormous world power, and we’ve handled that power questionably, and ultimately, I would argue, to our own detriment. And certainly to the detriment of people who don’t benefit from the industrial system. And this [the drug war] might be one of the most pressing, and sort of inspiring, areas as a possibility for real reform. Whether we’re going to continue the kind of state-following and fear-mongering that we have had since the end of the Cold War, where we almost needed a new enemy, so into that pipeline we put the drug dealer and drug user.
Could we step back and say, there must be a better way for us to lead the world? Morally, spiritually and otherwise. We are now in many ways a laughing stock for the rest of the world due to the enormity of our prison population. We have outpaced every totalitarian country in the world. Not only proportionally, but in real numbers. China has five times the population, but it has a smaller prison population. So it seems to me that the moral bankruptcy of the war on drugs would be something that really should be a central topic of these upcoming elections.
Of course, it isn't a central topic of the upcoming elections.
Sure, it's done better than perhaps it ever has — particularly in the Republican debates — in terms of visibility, and we do have a number of state-wide votes of significance in the drug war, but it's still not anywhere near an “election topic.”
In particular, if you look at the partisan liberal and conservative websites and blogs, you find almost no mention of drug policy (it's all about attacking the other guy, and drug policy doesn't really fit since both sides are terrible).
This just makes it all the more important to find a way to get Gary Johnson into the debates.