The drug policy reform movement isn’t simply made up of people hoping to get high legally, according to Ethan Nadelmann. The executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance says the movement includes people who hate drugs and even people who “don’t give a damn” about drugs.
Speaking at the 2013 Americas Business Council (ABC) Continuity Forum on November 7, Nadelmann admitted he was one of the tens of millions of people who responsibly enjoyed an occasional marijuana joint.
“We don’t like the fact that the government treats us a criminals,” he said. “We believe that this is my mind and my body, not the government’s. That’s it, and it is an issue about freedom.”
But that wasn’t the whole story.
“You know what we care about? We care about the harms the war on drugs and this failed prohibitionist policy is doing in our homes, our communities, our society, our country, and around the world.”
Nadelmann noted the United States has the highest incarceration rate and biggest prison population in the world. He said the U.S. justice system “locks up black people in a way that would make apartheid South Africa look like child’s play by comparison.” The U.S. incarceration rate of minorities exceeds the incarceration rate of the notorious Soviet gulags, he said.
Nadelmann also railed against the government’s intrusion on the doctor-patient relationship, the overuse of poisonous herbicides to eradicate coca fields, and the large fiscal cost of drug prohibition.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: