Remember a week or so ago when Pat Robertson said pot should be legal? I had not thought of Mr. Robertson as a leader of the Come Out for Cannabis army, but Pat’s endorsement has drawn out a big name. This week, in his print column in Time magazine [April 2, 2012], Fareed Zakaria, writer, thinker, Time correspondent and CNN personality, said,
The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and Britain – with a rate among the highest – has 153…. This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.’s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison . . . That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase.
Mr. Zakaria’s print column closes with, “we are creating a vast prisoner underclass in this country at huge expense . . . in the name of a war we have already lost. If Pat Robertson can admit he was wrong, surely it is not too much to ask the same of America’s political leaders.” The kids at the right salute you Mr. Zakaria, and HMJ says “welcome” to our effort. Not familiar with Fareed’s work? Go here.
[image: google images zakaria]