In 2016, there were 2.2 million in prisons. In 2016, 64,000 people died from drug overdose, with Opioid and Heroin epidemics, nation wide.
Non violent drug offenders should be either released or given an opportunity to clean up and fly straight for an early release. The basic plan is to create the Green Corps, a volunteer corps of the US Army. The peace corps could also be integrated under the US Army, serving to enhance global peace, a noble objective. Prisoners get "boot camp" indoctrination on being good citizens, and used for various purpose, one of which is promoting green peace or global peace. Prisoners get reduced sentences for good behavior and earn a very modest wage for services for use when released. Depopulate the Prisons and Enhance Green Peace and Global Peace, for the WIN WIN. This program for prisoners of course would be completed voluntary by prisoners, but with one major caveat, desertion from the military is a capital offense.

Apparently, private prisons are more dangerous to inmates as their use expands. This is a not a good trend.

Many have called for an end to the War of Drugs. Libertarians have also sought an end to the war on basis of personal sovereignty, the personal right to do with one self as one deem fit. Also, there is a belief that legalization actually lowers drug use. Currently, there is a heroin epidemic in the northeast and a nation wide addiction problem with opioids. A consequence of the epidemic is increased collateral crime, criminal court congestion, and overcrowded prisons. Americans are afraid of the growing problem. The electorate will not endorse to an end on the war on drugs. A political stance in support of ending the War on Drugs will not pass the voting booth, and is thus a meaningless pandered political posture.

The federal government backed by the vast majority of American will not end the war on drugs. California has legalized marijuana, which is a low level intoxicant that functions mostly as a mild sedative. The US Attorney General has indicated a crack down on states that have legalized marijuana. A solution is constitutional states rights. If a state legalizes a drug, presuming by voter support and approval, then that state is exercising it states rights. The state of course will have to deal with any adverse consequences of legalization of a drug. In the case of marijuana, which suppresses motivation, wide scale use can adversely affect job performance measured by decreased productivity and school performance measured by increased drop out rates and increased low test scores. We should not want college students wasting their time high on pot when studies are demanding. There is an apparent balance being made been the freedom the smoke pot and the adverse consequences. Pot smokers tend to idle time, sitting on the couch wasting time away. This is preferred over those drinking alcohol and driving drunk killing people, but is primary a social issue over state reserved power under the constitution. Where a state legalizes a drug, the federal government should not impose its totalitarian will over states rights. The preferred way to address the issue is not for a call to end the war on drugs, but initiate a war on federal totalitarianism. Thus, for example, where California legalizes marijuana, it should be respected by federal drug enforcement, and not prosecute cultivation, sales and use within the state of California, which still enables the federal government to control international and interstate transport of marijuana. So, instead of calling for an abrupt end to the war on drugs, which might ignite a horrific drug problem, the better approach is a cautious one, protecting states rights against federal totalitarianism, by calling for a War on Federal Totalitarianism. This is the constitutional solution, that allows states to decriminalize drug use as the voter deem fit, and allows to the states to fashion suitable drug rehabilitation and social services to deal with the fall out from legalization. This is a cautious approach that respects voter choice and states rights and enables legalization in incremented steps.
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