While I do not for a moment wish to be understood as diminishing or deprecating the importance of those poor souls who are filling our prisons or the evisceration of fundamental constitutional rights, I want to make note of the 'other victims' of the so called War On Drugs. "The 'other victims' are those people and businesses who can't get into court to have their cases heard. They are the victims of traditional crimes such as burglary, rape and robbery who can't get justice because the police are tied up with drug cases. They are the merchants going bankrupt because the police no longer have time to investigate or prosecute bad check cases. They are the battered spouses whose abusers are not sent to jail because there's only room there for pot smokers. They are the physicians and other medical care providers who cannot treat their patients according to conscience and the discipline of their profession. They are the sick and dying who endure unnecessary pain. They are the children whose parents are taken from them. They are the police who have given up honorable and challenging work investigating and detecting crime because they have become addicted to and dependent upon an informant based system reminiscent of Lenin's dreaded Cheka. They are the families forced to select one member to plead guilty lest the entire family be charged. They are the prosecutors and defense attorneys who have turned the temples of justice into plea bargaining bazaars. They are, most painful to me, the judges who let this happen and don't say a word.

--John L. Kane, Jr. Winner of "The Justice Gerald LeDain Award For the Achievement in the Field of Law" The Drug Policy Foundation Awards Ceremony May 20, 2000 Drug Policy Institute Washington, D.C.

Shared by Kay Lee