"It’s about personal freedom. We should have the right in this country to do what we want, if we don’t hurt anybody.”
Charles OgletreeHarvard Professor
"You have never had so many people on the same side in this issue. Because we've fought a war and we've been unsuccessful."
“What we need to do is to treat drugs as a health problem, not as a criminal problem.”
"This approach has not worked, just as our national experiment with the prohibition of alcohol failed.
"More kids die from obesity, from alcohol use, from traffic accidents. How many people have died from marijuana? Tell me."
William BrattonFormer Police Chief
"Let's return to the focus on prevention of crime. How do we prevent people from becoming drug addicts? How do we prevent people from being incarcerated?"
Bill MaherTV Host
"What could be more private than what goes on inside your mind? You should be allowed to manipulate that as an adult any way you want."
Mike HuckabeePolitician and TV Personality
“We have not been very successful in incarcerating our way out of the drug problem. We’ve created a bigger problem."
Rick StevesAuthor and TV Host
"I am certainly not 'pro-drugs.' I simply appreciate how much of Europe treats its drug problems in a pragmatic way."
George ShultzFmr. Secretary of State
"After 40 years of concentrating on one approach that has been unsuccessful, we should be willing to take a look at other ways of working to solve this pressing problem."
Adam CarollaTV Personality
"Unless you harm somebody else or put them in jeopardy... do whatever you want. You want to get really high and go drive, speed through a neighborhood, then we have a problem."
"I don’t care what brings the change about, whether it’s a moral outrage or whether it’s an economic crunch, I think that it’s time... it’s way past time."
Pat RobertsonTV Evangelist
"It's shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hardcore criminals because they had a possession of a very small amount of controlled substance. The whole thing is crazy."
Carl HartColumbia Professor
"I’d like to see empirical evidence be used in our shaping of public drug policy, so people will have more respect for a policy they know is not capricious."
"The war on drugs, while well-intentioned, has been a failure."
"There are more African Americans under correctional control, in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850 a decade before the civil war began.
Montel WilliamsTV Personality
"I utilize medical marijuana to help alleviate the extreme neuralgic pain I suffer from. I am not alone. There are thousands of patients like me, and we should not be treated as criminals."
Gita MasiquesWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"The utter failure of the war on drugs has cost us dearly in moral, social and economic terms, and it is high time (pun intended) we put an end to it. A potential plan: 1. Decriminalize marihuana at a national level, under the same regula ...
Gael Garcia BernalActor
"Drugs are illegal - therefore, there's a fight, I hope drugs become legalized in Mexico. If drugs were legal, there would be nothing to fight about."
Arianna HuffingtonAuthor & Commentator
"The war on drugs has failed and we're not acknowledging it. That we're spending over $50 billion a year fighting a war that's become a war on our own people, especially among African-Americans and minorities in general."
"Our prisons are full with people who have used drugs who should be treated as patients -- and they're non-violent. Someday we're gonna awake and find out that the prohibition we are following right now with drugs is no more successful, may...
“It's just the stupidest law possible... You're just making criminals out of people who aren't engaged in criminal activity. And we're spending zillions of dollars trying to fight a war we can't win! We could make zillions, just legalize ...
Kofi AnnanFormer UN Secretary-General
"We should approach it through education and health issues rather than a brutal reaction... There is need for change in policy, but it has to start with debate and discussion... I think the whole approach has to be reviewed.”
Amy GoodmanMedia Host & Author
“Popularity [of marijuana legalization questions on the White House website] might indicate audience concern with U.S. drug policy, and the enormous toll on our society of the so-called war on drugs... It also fuels a rising U.S. prison p...
"If you're doing the powder cocaine in a corporate boardroom, nothing is probably ever going to happen to you. If you're doing the crack cocaine in an inner city, you could spend years and years in jail."
“Someone has got to break the logjam. The fact is that you have the incarceration rate, particularly in African American communities for drug related crimes is off the charts... The old mindset that doesn't address the current environment...
“We have police officers...arresting people for 10 grams, 11 grams, 12 grams. A huge amount of time dedicated to that. Then, they go to court. That means they're not on the street fighting gangs, fighting gun violence.
Katrina vanden HeuvelWriter & Publisher
"There has, though, been a spike in racial disparities. Black adults across California are arrested for pot possession at higher rates than whites -- sometimes by a factor of 12. The same ugly imbalances apply to black youth, even though go...
Rachel MaddowTV Host
"It is decades old and we don‘t appear to be anywhere near winning it. Just say no to waging un-winnable wars."
Bill O'ReillyTV Host
“My philosophy is if you want to smoke marijuana in your basement, I don't care. I'm not going to get a search warrant and kick your door in."
"This is about creating fairness and consistency in our laws. The problem is the law, and the solution is to change the law."
“If you make [marijuana] legal it becomes like liquor. Like at a liquor store you have to be a certain age to get it, you have to have ID when you go in, you have the different kinds. And it will be utilized and taxed the same way that th...
Joycelyn EldersFormer Surgeon General
"I don’t think much could be worse than the present situation that we have when we have the highest number of people in the world being criminalized– many for nonviolent crimes related to marijuana. What I think is horrible about all of...
Brad PittActor & Philanthropist
“We have spent a trillion dollars. It [the drug war] has lasted over 40 years. A lot of people have lost their lives for it. Yet we still talk about it like it’s this success.”
Richard PosnerJudge & Legal Theorist
"I think the notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs, I don't think that's sensible at all. And that is responsible for a high percentage of our p...
"This failed war continues even today to have a devastating and debilitating impact on the lives of millions of Americans. We add our voices to the growing number of people of good conscience to demand a resolute end to this awful destructi...
Joe WhiteWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"America's War On Drugs has morphed into a war against people of color. Simple marijuana possession has tagged millions with the felony label, and nowhere is this more evident than Detroit. Recent data suggest Detroit MI. is ground zero in ...
Barry CullProfessor (no photo provided)
"As Chair of the Board for Supportive Housing of Waterloo I have seen how helping people attain affordable housing and access to a variety of supports is a cost-effective way of restoring people's dignity."
Sandra RuchWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I fully endorse drug policy reform from all levels of government and civil society."
Ronald HoltWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I am a 21-year-veteran at the Chicago Police Department, where I am now a Commander/Director of it's city-wide community policing unit, Chicago Alternative Policing Division. I must honestly say that when I was working the streets for a be...
Janice Jones-JohnsonWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"My family and I have been the victims on the so-called "Other side of the fence". My favorite brother had a drug addiction that has cost our family his presence for many, many years. He is doing an "Endless Sentence". We really have had to...
Judy ReamyWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"While I was still in college, I had to do a research paper on the War Against Crime. What I discovered is that over the years, there have been multiple versions of this war and they've all failed. A definition of insanity is continuing to ...
Michael McMurtryWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I am a retired Calif. Correctional Officer, with 9 years on the job. That means I spent NINE YEARS on the inside of the PRISON, same as the rest of the inmates! No, I didn't have to defecate in front of others, or have to get locked up at...
Cory BookerMayor of Newark, New Jersey
"The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence. We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unn...
Jimmy CarterFormer President of the United States
"Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in...
"The War on Drugs has failed -- but it's worse than that. It is actively harming our society. Violent crime is thriving in the shadows to which the drug trade has been consigned. People who genuinely need help can't get it. Neither can peop...
Thomas NonnWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"Stop this war on the poor. A poor man calls his wife, a rich man calls his lawyer."
"In the black community, it is a form of slavery, this drug war, because it imprisons a huge portion of people, destroys their lives, coarsens our culture. And why? Marijuana is much less harmful than tobacco and prescription drugs in many ...
George W. BushFormer President of the United States
"I think a lot of people are coming to the realization that maybe long minimum sentences for the first-time users may not be the best way to occupy jail space and/or heal people from their disease."
Susan SnipesWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"Even as I write these words I cannot stop or control my flow of tears. For the past 10 years I have suffered a mother's fears, grief, sleepless nights and rapid aging due to the unfair sentencing of my 2 sons. My oldest son Sean, was relea...
Bill RichardsonFormer New Mexico Governor
"I believe the war on drugs is not working. You know, I'm tough on crime, I'm not going to let somebody out that commits a violent crime, and I know we [have] problems in our prisons, but I have more treatment of our incarcerated people. Mo...
"First of all, we have to acknowledge that drug sentencing ends up being discriminatory, that our drug laws are harsh in that they emphasize not just criminalization but they emphasize incarceration. We need different thinking today...this ...
Bob BarrFormer Congressman
"The prevailing approach is flawed by a “one size fits all” mandate and chronic federal-state conflicts. The recommended alternative, in contrast, would have the twin jurisdictions work in harmony as they do in the regulation of alcoh...
“[Letting states legalize marijuana] would free federal law enforcement resources for the more urgent tasks of thwarting, apprehending, and prosecuting international terrorists or murderers... [A]s a matter of States' rights, regulating m...
"Prohibition not only diverts resources from the pursuit of more-serious crimes, it empowers criminals and enhances black-market incentives. Money spent fighting what adults seem to want could be better allocated toward education and rehab....
Toni PreckwinkleLocal Politician
“We all know that the war on drugs fails to stop drug use. Instead it has resulted in the incarceration of millions of people around the country... [Criminalizing drugs is] a tremendous social and economic cost to all of us. The cost is t...
Rick PerryGovernor of Texas
“[If] you want to go somewhere where you can smoke medicinal weed, then you ought to be able to do that.”
Ralph NaderPolitical Activist
"We need to acknowledge that drug abuse is a health problem with social and economic consequences. It is time to bring some illegal drugs within the law by regulating, taxing and controlling them. Ending the drug war will dramatically reduc...
Rocky AndersonPolitician and Activist
"I have long opposed the so-called “war on drugs” and worked successfully to obtain a presidential pardon for a non-violent drug offender who was sentenced to 15 ½ years in a federal penitentiary on his first drug conviction. Job creat...
Kurt SchmokeFormer Mayor of Baltimore
"Decriminalization would take the profit out of drugs and greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the drug-related violence that is currently plaguing our streets."
"Like prohibition, the ban on drugs has been a financial bonanza for organized crime, and its profits have financed the corruption of law enforcement agencies, politicians, and judges."
"Throughout my career in public policy and in public office, I have fought to reform or eliminate wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government program or policy I can think of that has failed in such a unique way as ...
Diane GoldsteinFormer Lieutenant Commander
“Prohibition is unwise fiscal policy. Education and treatment would be far more effective.”
Andrew NapolitanoJudicial Analyst at Fox News
"The war on drugs is a failure on every level: moral, constitutional, and economic."
David SimonCreator, "The Wire"
"What drugs have not destroyed, the war against them has. And the drug war itself is now merely a crude, brutal and shameful war on the underclass."
Nancy GertnerFormer Federal Judge
"We have spent, and this is part of my research here, five hundred billion dollars on the war of drugs over twenty years. Five hundred billion dollars! What has it been on? Obviously it's been on police officers and fancy gadgets to stop cr...
"We have a disproportionate amount of nonviolent substance abusers in prison. We cannot continue to put nonviolent substance abusers in jail and continue to privatize prisons and think that that's actually a 'War on Drugs.' That's actually ...
"I think we have two million people incarcerated in this country right now and that's an issue that's going to take two or three years to try to get to the bottom of and that's where I want to put my energy."
"In my time in the United States Senate, I have opposed the USA Patriot Act, voted against the NDAA over indefinite detention, fought to end mandatory minimum drug sentences."
Bill Clinton42nd President of the USA
“I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be. We really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment.”
Jesse JacksonActivist and Minister
"The war on drugs turned, early on, into a new Jim Crow offensive against people of color. Although whites abuse drugs at higher rates than African-Americans, African-Americans are incarcerated at ten times the rate of whites for drug offen...
Peter ShumlinGovernor of Vermont
“I just support Vermont moving to the same system that many other states -- Massachusetts, Alaska, California and others -- have implemented, which is to decriminalize the offense for small amounts of marijuana.”
“I think eventually, the worse the economy gets, the more sense it makes to legalize marijuana. First of all, you save all that money being spent on drug enforcement, all the money that goes for putting people in prison for smoking pot. T...
Geraldo RiveraTV Host
“I have charted the war on drugs more than any reporter alive today. I have watched a trillion dollars -- a thousand billion tax dollars -- spent on the war on drugs. It is an utter failure."
[T]he United States has spent $1 trillion in the last 40 years to fight the war on drugs, and we have very little to show for such an exorbitant amount of money."
Garrett RobertsWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I was arrested in August 2011 and plead guilty to felony distribution in the state of Maryland. My guilt or innocence is not the point or of any useful debate. What is debatable are the tactics used to obtain guilty pleas and plea bargins....
Janis ChastainWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"My son was involved in what the DEA called a meth manufacturing conspiracy. The DEA made it sound like they had some big drug king pins, when it was nothing but country boys with drug problems. My son received 19 years in FBOP. He took a p...
Judy Haywood-GonzalezWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"IRONY. In the 60's and 70's, my husband ran a 650 seet, 900 standing room concert theatre in Houston, TX. He booked the most famous talent of the time. Bruce Springstien and Jimmy Chong played Liberty Hall. In all those years, around a lot...
Leslie YermanWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I join you in demanding an end to the war on drugs. People use drugs. Just like people drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes (but they are not sent to prison). Some are addicted and need treatment. Addiction is an illness, not a crime. Others ...
Lisa CarlsonWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I just stumbled across a video today online at Huff Post Crime, it was film critic Jonathan Kim from ReThink Reviews, he was interviewing Director Eugene Jarecki (October 3, 2012) about his film. I haven't seen the documentary itself YET. ...
Five MualimmakWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I have done 12 years in prison 5 in solitary and I recently came home to find that the streets are run just like prison. People scared of the police that are public servants. Just like we were of the C.O.'s where people are being arrested ...
Marianne Von GrunealdWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"End the War on Drugs and free all the thousands of innocent and unjustly sentenced men, women and children incarcerated in American prisons serving ridiculously long and harsh sentences that do not balance with the nature of the crimes com...
Juanita ShellWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
The war on drugs is a hoax. It targeted African Americans and incarcerated them by the thousands while the majority of people using drugs were documented to be white. They were allow to go free while African Americans filled up the jail cel...
"We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world and isn't this America; liberty, personal freedom, and responsibility that goes along with that? I think that when it comes to drug policy, we've thrown that notion out the...
Larry ElderRadio Host
"Once brave politicians and others explain the war on drugs' true cost, the American people will scream for a cease-fire. Bring the troops home, people will urge. Treat drugs as a health problem, not as a matter for the criminal justice sys...
"The war on drugs is a war against the communities."
Neal BoortzRadio Host
"If you support the war on drugs in its present form, then you're only paying lip-service to the defense of freedom, and you don't really grasp the concept of the sovereign individual human being."
P. J. O’RourkeJournalist
“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
"My point of view, while extremely cogent, is unpopular. . . . That the repressive nature of the legalities vis-a-vis drugs are destroying the legal system and corrupting the police system."
“Our drug laws are hypocritical...and often racist. These laws have locked up an obscene number of people and this must end.”
"By regarding addiction as an illness, by offering treatment instead of a more punitive approach, we can prevent people from committing crimes."
"The War on Drugs has been a failure. It is time to end prohibition and start treating addiction as a public health problem. This has ravaged our inner cities, and we are losing an entire generation of men and women to prisons."
“Despite having arrested over 20 million people for marijuana nationally, a number larger than the entire population of New York State, marijuana prohibition has failed to make our communities safer.”
Karma DurantWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"Having sat on both side of the aisle on this issue, my firsthand experience as well as my academic and clinical knowledge put me in the unique position of absolutely knowing what I am talking about. The idea that this country would spend a...
Shanen GivoneWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"After being arrested for a prescription pill out of a prescription bottle, with no prior arrests and denied "release on my own recognizance"; strip searched, finger printed, cavity searched and held for over 50 hours in a county jail, I co...
BeKura Shabazz-ElWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"There is no war on drugs in America, there is a war on humanity in America where we treat people worst than animals and demand payment for legal services for crimes in which the verdict has already been determined. Drugs are used for many ...
Tyrone BrackensWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I just believe the emphasis in our society should be on the wants and needs of indviduals. Drugs are definetely prevalent in our society due to a few factors that grant so many people access to these types of drugs. In the 21st century we ...
Angie GoinsWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I am a 33 year old mother of three beautiful children, a senior in college maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and I am also a recovering drug addict. I have been sober for two and a half years and I struggled with addiction from the age of 14 after I ...
Janet GoreeWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"The heavy doors slam and lock behind me. I am assailed by the brightness of the sun on this beautiful winter day in Florida. I rush to my car to get my sunglasses. You are only allowed to take one pair of glasses into the facility and when...
Notta NumberWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I spent a good portion of life in and out of prison, I haven't been back in a long time. All as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. While in prison I had a blog that I wrote for the San Francisco Bay Guardian called "Prison Report" and my ...
Eon G. CooperWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"The Drug War ruins individual lives and tears families apart. It breeds corruption at all levels of government and violence in our cities and throughout the world. Eradication procedures poison land and human beings in foreign countries a...
Robert AguirreWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I have been involved in the Criminal Justice field since 1970 and have witnessed the destruction and the failure of our policies and belief that incarceration is the whole answer. We are frankly bankrupting our nation with the course we ha...
Bob HerriedWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I helped to develop a unique DUII program where I work as a drug and alcohol counselor. Part of what I developed was a PowerPoint presentation called, History and Politics of Drugs: Debunking the Myths. My whole goal was to enlighten peopl...
Deidre DonaldsonWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"In New Zealand our Government seems to have adopted the American model of the justice system. We have the second highest lock up rate of 199 (per 100.000 population). As with African Americans our Maori people make up the majority of priso...
Patricia Mead and Sam HustonWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"My son died of a drug overdose. So did three of his cousins, the sons of my three sisters. Four sisters, and each of us - each of us - has lost a son to drugs. America has lost the war on drugs, and our sons are the victims. This is ...
Ro MayWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I am a victim and survivor of the Draconian drug policies that were implemented in the 80's to disproportionately affect Black men and families on a whole. After 10 years in prison for a 1st offense, non-violent federal drug conviction, I ...
Lawrence SidenWebsite Visitor (no photo provided)
"I was deeply moved my "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander, who is featured in this film. Her brave and honest work makes plain what I and so many others have suspected all along: the war on drugs is not about drugs. It's about race, ...
Sally RumbleWebsite Vistor (no photo provided)
"A dear friend of mine opened my eyes to the injustices of the the criminal justice system and the war on drugs when he spoke out about the state of the prison industrial complex and the business of incarcerating men, women and children for...
SandraWebsite Vistor (no photo provided)
"In 2005 I was convicted of 2 drug felonies. This was my first offense, never been in trouble and my true crime was I was hopelessly addicted to drugs. I was never given the opportunity for a diversion program, just straight to felonies. S...
"I feel guilty because I smoke pot regularly (vaporize it, actually), but no one would ever suspect me, and I'd never get hassled by police. I work in a professional position. I feel bad that so many people's lives have been ruined by the w...