Today, Bruce Schneier commented on a good, thoughtful article about the huge incarceration rate in the U.S.: The Caging of America, by Adam Gopnik, in the New Yorker.
I would like to comment that there would be far fewer people in jail, if our country did not actively pursue people who buy marijuana and drugs, and jail the lowest level of dealers. I learned from my stretch in Grand Jury how actively the police try to catch the dealers who make less than fifty dollars a night dealing crack and marijuana. They arrest buyers as well.
The "war on drugs" is a mighty missile mis-aimed. The desire of the American People to consume drugs is what fuels the production, smuggling and dealing that we officially find so distasteful. As long as that desire remains, efforts to police the flow of drugs resemble holding a paper tissue up in a hurricane.
There's an awesome amount of hypocrisy at work here. Is there any way to sweep it away, other than to appeal most of our drug laws?