DELAND, Fla., Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael E. Arth, in a new documentary, End the War on Drugs, says that the failed drug war should be replaced with legalization, regulation, licensing, counseling, and health services. He also believes that advertising should be banned for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine products.
Arth's personal war on drugs began in a slum neighborhood he rebuilt beginning in 2001. Previously known as "Cracktown," "The Bottom," "The End," and "Dead-End Road," Arth's revived neighborhood in DeLand, FL is now known as The Garden District. "In regards drugs, all I did was push the dealers to other areas." Arth says, "It's the same story all over the country. The drug war has created a global criminal network, financed terrorism, encouraged contempt for the law, spawned 1.4 million gang members, degraded civil rights, weakened the social structure, destroyed countless lives, and ruined neighborhoods….It is alcohol Prohibition all over again, except much worse, much longer, and without benefit of a constitutional amendment."
Arth interviewed Jerry Cameron, former DEA agent, police chief, and member of LEAP, which originally stood for "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition." Cameron now looks upon his career with deep regret and concludes from his experience that "legalization, not decriminalization, is the answer."
As a result of the drug war, and the related minimum sentencing laws, the US now has the world's highest incarceration rate. "The War on Drugs," Arth says, "started with Richard Nixon's cynical and racist misinformation campaign that targeted hippies and blacks, and it has grown from there." Linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky, who was on Nixon's Enemies List, tells Arth that the "so-called War on Drugs" is designed to deal with "the dangerous classes" and "internationally it's just a cover for counter-insurgency…and it is the least effective way to reduce drug use."
The 50-year-long drug policy has resulted in the US having the highest incarceration rate in the world, yet even in prison drugs are freely available. Asked what drugs he could get in prison, a homeless, ex-con named "Dirty Dave" Grimsley replied, "You know the story, anything on the menu, from soup to nuts." From this Arth concludes: "The fact that we cannot keep illegal drugs out of jail proves they cannot be controlled in an open society. Ending prohibition would solve the bulk of drug-related issues. The action would reinstate civil liberties, end asset forfeiture for drug related issues, save hundreds of thousands of lives and tens of billions of dollars, help other countries, improve our democracy, vastly reduce incarceration, and make us safer, healthier and happier." Arth admits that even with legalization there would still be drug-related issues, but he insists the harm to individuals and society would be greatly reduced by treating addiction as the public health issue it is.
SOURCE Michael E. Arth for President Campaign