Untitled Document


Speaker Supports Alternatives to the War on Drugs

Speaker: War on Drugs is a Hoax


Untitled Document

Speaker Supports Alternatives to the War on Drugs

Mon, 17 Feb 2003 - Savannah Morning News (GA)
Contact: letted@savannahnow.com - Website: www.savannahnow.com
Section: Local News

Nora Callahan knows firsthand the effects of America's war on drugs.

Her brother was indicted for a drug conspiracy in 1989.

After he was sent to prison for 27 years, she began trying to educate the public about how drug laws have increased the prison population.

As executive director of the November Coalition in Colville, Wash., Callahan travels nationwide talking about the drawbacks of punitive drug laws. She speaks tonight at Savannah State University.

Jails and prisons are clogged with people serving sentences for drug offenses, many of which are non-violent, Callahan said. A drug arrest in any family, Callahan says, is frightening introduction to conspiracy statutes, government's liberal use of informants and guideline-sentencing laws,

"We are dedicated to abolishing destructive prohibition laws whose enforcement does far more harm than any intended good," Callahan said.

According to the November Coalition -- a nonprofit founded to give a voice to drug war prisoners and their family members -- one in four prisoners nationwide is serving time for a drug law violation. In the federal system, these people make up about 60 percent of the prison population, Callahan said.

"We call it a war on drugs, but it's actually a war against our own citizens," said Lisa Lane, founder of the Savannah group, Coalition of Compassionate Drug Policy Reform.

The group supports treatment for drug offenders -- not prison -- and opposes mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which takes away judges' discretion, Lane said.

"Not only does treatment work, whereas incarceration does not, it's also less expensive," Lane said. "It's fiscally much more responsible to put our money in something that works, instead of continuing to put our money into this failed drug war that shows no sign of working."

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

The Internet Our Website

Questions or problems? Contact webmaster@november.org