If you are in the Atlanta area this evening, I hope you’ll join us at FFF’s conference at Spelman College. The theme of the conference is “Mass Incarceration and the Drug War.”
The speakers are Neill Franklin of LEAP, an organization of former law-enforcement officers who call for and to the war on drugs, Seema Sadanandan, a former staff member of the ACLU in Washington, D.C., Laurence Vance, policy adviser at FFF and author of FFF’s ebook The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom, and me.
Spelman is one of the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The NAACP chapters at Spelman College and Morehouse College, another HBCU in Atlanta, and the Spelhouse National Action Network are co-sponsoring the conference.
This is the third drug-war conference FFF has held at an HBCU. The other two were at Morgan State University in Baltimore and the law school at Florida A&M in Orlando. We are working to do more in the future.
As everyone knows, the drug war has adversely impacted people of all races and walks of life. But also no one can deny that the adverse consequences of this government program have fallen disproportionately on African Americans.
Of course, not all drug-war cops and judges are bigots. But some of them are. And the drug war is a dream-come-true for the bigoted ones. It enables them to exercise their bigotry to their heart’s content and even be thanked and praised for it, in the name of waging the war on drugs.
I find it mind-boggling that despite its manifest failure and destructiveness, there are still people who support it. Supporting the drug war 30 years ago in the false hope that it would eradicate drugs from society is one thing. But after 30 years of failure and destructiveness, there is no excuse for supporting it any longer.
It also boggles my mind that anyone believes that drug use and drug addiction is any business of the government and its criminal justice system. What a person ingests in the privacy of his own home, no matter how harmful or destructive, is his business. It is not the business of the state. A genuinely free society entails to right to engage in any peaceful behavior, no matter how irresponsible, dangerous, or harmful it might be.
Does that mean that calling for drug legalization necessarily means condoning drug use or drug abuse? No more so than supporting the continued legalization of booze and tobacco means condoning the use of those substances. The treatment for such things belongs entirely in the private sector, with drug rehabilitation programs, therapy, counseling, and Alcoholics Anonymous. It does not belong in the government sector.
ideas on liberty have power. They cause people to shift their mindsets. When we spread ideas on liberty on college campuses, we don’t aim to convert people but instead simply share with them a perspective on liberty to think about, ponder, discuss, debate, and reflect on. That’s one of the real valuable parts of a college education—learning how to think. Ultimately, everyone must make up his own mind on what he believes and supports. At our drug-war conference this evening at Spelman College we will be making the principled case for ending the drug war for people to consider.
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Science Center Room 134
For more information please contact Amari Fennoy at email@example.com.