Breaking Glass\r\nby Philip Jenkins\r\nShadow of Ecstasy\r\nIt's starting again. ^^Iniost 20 \\ears ago, tlie\r\nfederal go\\ernnicnt launehed what became\r\nknown as die "war on drugs," a radical\r\nexperiment to suppress illegal drugs\r\nriirough harsh penal solutions. Among\r\nortier things, this meant long prison sentences\r\nfor the sale or possession of tin\\'\r\nquantities of controlled substances, sentences\r\nthat are astonishingl}- severe b\\ the\r\nstandards of \\irtualK' all other advanced nations.\r\nNloreoxer, these sentences were imposed\r\nunder strict federal and state guidelines\r\nthat all but eliminated the discretion\r\nof indi\\ idual judges. The drug war had\r\nother delightful features, including giving\r\nthe Drug Enforcement Administration a\r\nmajor sa\\ o\\er what medicines and anaesthetics\r\ncould be prescribed b\\- doctors or\r\nhos|3itaLs.\r\nWe now ha\\e more than enough pers])\r\neeti\\ c to declare the drug war an abject\r\nfailure â€”nothing less than a catastrophe\r\n\\isited upon American socieh'. The worst\r\naspect of the whole aff;iir is that there cannot\r\nliterally be a war on drugs: Teams of\r\nagents do not take sharp sticks and punish\r\nrows of marijuana plants, histcad, the war\r\nis on peopleâ€”American people â€”and\r\no\\erwhclmingl\\', the \\'ichms of antidrug\r\ncampaigns are quite ordinarv and fairh'\r\nharmless indi\\ iduals. Nevertheless, millions\r\nof li\\es ha\\e been destroved in the\r\nname of the unattainable principle...
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