I still believe that this country needs to take a good close and hard look at itself. Why are we so into getting high? We are the number one illegal drugs using country on the planet, and if we added the illegal use of across the counter so called legal drugs—nobody wants to talk about this—we would be off the charts. And it’s not just Blacks, Latinos, and the poor Whites using. Middle and upper income Americans are buying far more drugs because they can afford it, yet the jails are filled with Blacks, Latinos, and poor Whites. Something is wrong with the system and this country.

Another big problem coming from the War on Drugs is all the people who go to jail then come out with felony records, which prevents them from getting jobs or keeping jobs. The felony tag needs to be taken off all drugs offenses, possession as well as selling. Once a person has served his or her time that should be it, no tag holding them back, they have served their time, paid their debt to society and should be allowed to move on with their lives.

So maybe the End the War on Drugs people need to be clearer on what their priorities are and go after them with a national effort.

My goals would be 1. Legalize marijuana. 2. Equalize all possession of illegal drugs sentencing. 3. Eliminate the felony tag on all drug charges which do not include violence. The felony tag should only be attached to violent criminals.

And last, but not least: Will the state be able to privatize our liquor stores? The House passed a bill, which catered to the Beer Distributors. The Senate is set to pass a bill that does not, which means the two will have to come together in compromise. The GOP controls both branches, but that doesn’t mean they will be able to agree. The Democrats are trying to protect the unions, while the Republicans are trying to set up a system where the rich can get richer by buying these super expensive licenses, where as the general public just wants to be able to walk into a Giant Eagle, Kuhn’s, SHOP ‘n SAVE, Wal-Mart, or where ever, and purchase a six pack of beer or other alcohol without having to make a separate trip to the state store. To be honest, if the rest of the stores became private or remain state controlled it doesn’t matter. Just make alcohol available everywhere, as in most other states.

(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier)


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