Jun 20, 2011

Whack-a-mole Drug War: The day the drug war really started

*** A Must Read:  A remarkable--and tragic tale--of politics and ignorance. The story of Ronald Reagan and a Congress that wanted to score political points. (What else is new?)

The day the drug war really started - War Room - Salon.com: "On June 19, 1986, 25 years ago Sunday, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias died of cocaine intoxication. Many believed the 6-foot 7, 220-pound small forward possessed a level of talent equal to that of Michael Jordan, and only two days earlier he'd been selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft by the reigning champion Boston Celtics.

In Ronald Reagan's America, Bias instantly became the poster child for what could happen to anyone who didn't just say no. His sudden, shocking death dominated the headlines and unnerved millions of Americans, who were told that the cardiac arrhythmia he suffered was the result of casual, one-time experimentation with drugs....

Responding to this outpouring of grief and fear, Congress promptly passed (and Reagan signed) the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. In their haste, they may not have fully grasped what they were doing.

The law has resulted in 25 years of disproportionately harsh prison sentences for defendants who are disproportionately black. "

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