How to Fix It: Lose the Drug War

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


“We are the jailingest motherfuckers on the planet. More than that, the number of violent offenders in federal prisons has gone down to its lowest level ever in the history of the country—in the single digits, by the Bureau of Prisons’ own statistics. And the political party that let this get out of control? It was the Democrats. The drug war has actually destroyed the deterrent in inner cities by teaching whole police departments to chase drug stats when they should be solving crimes. And, of course, because they can’t put all those people in prison, it doesn’t even work as a draconian policy. Most people are just thrown back onto the street. A smart politician could cite all these things, and we could stop the madness. But everyone’s worried that the little old lady in Terre Haute is going to think you’re soft on drugs. I think all the little old ladies in Terre Haute get it. The American people are smarter than politicians give them credit for. If McCain came to a Democratic Congress with reforms, I think he’d be a hero to moderates everywhere, because do you know people who believe in the drug war? I don’t know if there’s a cop in Baltimore who believes in it except as a means of getting overtime pay, hoard pay. I think everybody knows except the government.”

Read an extended interview with David Simon about the Bush legacy here.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate