Quid Rides? De te Fabula Narratur

What are you laughing at? The joke's on you.

Of Mandatory Sentencing and Minimum Intelligence

Posted by Anthony on April 25, 2017

Something about those who do not remember the past…

One has to give credit where credit is due: despite some flip-flops in certain areas, those whom the Trump Administration has chosen to spearhead its efforts in many other departments have shown themselves enthusiastic scions of the MAGA culture. Rex Tillerson, at a horribly depleted State, has shown he is quite incapable of conducting any foreign policy (all the better to leave it to Mr.Trump), Betsy DeVos can’t even get them to spell “education” correctly on the department’s Snapchat, and Jeff Sessions has come out with a determined effort towards changing the way business as usual is conducted at Justice. At least as far as drugs go; when it comes to violence against minorities, that’s just fine.

What we are talking about here of course is the recent espousal by the Sessions lead Justice Department of minimum sentencing laws and the re-ramping up of the “War on Drugs”. There are so many things wrong with this effort that it would easily take the better part of a weekend to write out the flaws, but since brevity is the soul of wit we shall endeavor to do so in as minimal a space as might be possible.

First, the “War on Drugs” has been an abject failure from the beginning. Mandatory sentencing laws have proven not only to be disproportionally racist but have had almost no impact on the drug trade at all. Steep sentences have only resulted in non-violent offenders seeing themselves locked up for years on end; they have not impacted the drug trade one bit. It is absolutely stupid to argue that someone in possession of marijuana is deserving of a few years in a prison cell but that’s exactly what we’re aiming for with this administration: they keep pushing the lie that marijuana is a “gateway drug”, a concept that has been debunked almost as many times as the Flat-Earth idea. Mr. Sessions went as far as to proffer that “marijuana is only slightly less awful than getting hooked on heroin”.

This last statement should offend… everybody. In New Jersey, where we currently have a heroin epidemic running rampant, the very notion is insulting to an inordinate degree. Just ask a parent, any parent, if they were given the choice of being told their child had experimented with marijuana or heroin if they would feel about equally appalled. This essay isn’t being written for the purpose of defending marijuana (which, for the record, should be decriminalized and legalized across the board), but it shows a certain level of Doublethink to hold the belief being espoused by the country’s top law enforcement official: either Mr. Sessions is wildly ignorant about the addictive nature of both drugs, or he is willfully ignoring it. In either case he is ill suited to promulgate any police-work in this regard.

What is dreadfully concerning, however, is Mr. Sessions ties to (and support of) the private prison industry in The United States. Like the rest of the Trump administration, which exists as a kleptocracy determined only to see how much of the public treasury they can loot before they are cast out of office, one cannot help but notice that mandatory sentencing will skyrocket the prison population here. It is a sadistic cycle: the more non-violent offenders thrown into prison, the more one can justify “law and order tactics” since the prosecution and conviction numbers will go up. You are going to ruin lives for no other reason than to help you and your friends turn a profit, but then again that’s this current administration in a nutshell.

Moderate Americans, and even those who are not particularly in favor of drug legalization, must bear witness to the glaring ineffectiveness of rekindling the “War on Drugs” when we have money that so desperately needs be spent elsewhere. The citizens of this country must fight back against these dictates and help elect officials who will refuse to carry out these draconian orders. We must “Just Say No”, alright, to Mr. Sessions and his attempt to roll back decades of progress in the way we view individual rights and free choice as human beings.

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