« First Circuit to review en banc RI Governor's refusal to let feds have murderer for capital prosecution | Main | Important (not-quite-circuit splitting) Seventh Circuit habeas ruling corrects too-long federal sentence »

December 21, 2011

Stiff sentence given to Cameron Douglas for drug possession while in prison

Lindsay Lohan's trouble with the law is small potatoes compared to what going on with Cameron Douglas as reported in this new Reuters piece:

The son of Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas was sentenced on Wednesday to an additional 4 and a half years in prison for taking drugs while jailed on separate offenses of possessing and dealing narcotics.

Cameron Douglas, 33, who has long struggled with drug abuse, will begin serving that sentence only after he completes his current, five-year prison term he began in April 2010 for possessing heroin and dealing large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine out of a New York hotel room.

Manhattan federal court Judge Richard Berman [no relation to this blog's author] handed down a stiff sentence that was more than double what prosecutors sought, despite a tearful and contrite Douglas asking the judge to consider his crime a consequence of drug addiction he has been unable to shake.  "You see your honor, I cannot seem to find comfort in my own skin," Cameron said before sentence was imposed.

In October, Douglas pleaded guilty to possessing illegal drugs while detained in a federal prison -- a crime considered more serious when the defendant already is a federal inmate. Douglas was caught after a prison official noticed his cell window had been covered up.  He was found with a pill and a piece of paper which he later admitted had contained heroin.

"I don't believe that I have had another case ever ... of a defendant who has so recklessly, and flagrantly and wantonly, and criminally acted in as destructive and manipulative a fashion as Cameron Douglas has," Berman said.

The judge said Douglas did not deserve any leniency for admitting to taking the drugs because he lied to investigators when they asked where he obtained them.  A witness later told prison officials he delivered the drugs to Douglas.

In handing a heavier sentence than the 12 to 18 months the government had requested, the judge said a pattern of "reckless, disruptive and non-compliant" behavior by Douglas since his arrest in 2009 needed harsher punishment.  In one instance, Douglas convinced a defense attorney to smuggle prescription drugs for him in her bra when she visited him in prison, the judge said....

At the time of his 2009 arrest, Douglas agreed to cooperate with agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who are pursuing other cases.  He recently testified in the Manhattan federal court trial of one of his drug suppliers.

Though I have not followed this case closely, I cannot quite understand what is going to be achieved or even what vision of retributive justice appears is served by having the feds confine and care for Cameron Douglas for essentially the next decade.  It is not clear that Douglas poses much of a threat to anyone other than himself.  When the judge here calls Douglas "destructive," what exactly is Douglas thought to be destroying other than his own life by feeding his drug addictions even while imprisoned?

Cameron Douglas would seem to be Exhibit A for why a public health approach rather than a criminal justice response to drug offending by addicts would likely be more effective and much more economical.   But perhaps my disaffinity for the drug war colors my views here.  Consequently, I am wondering if anyone can explain in the comments why having Cameron Douglas in a federal prison cell for the next decade (at federal taxpayers' expense) is likely to better serve our society's interests than if Cameron Douglas were, say, forced to spend the next few years at a private drug addiction facility (at the Douglas family's expense).

December 21, 2011 at 03:20 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e2015438a57af1970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stiff sentence given to Cameron Douglas for drug possession while in prison:

Comments

High time someone got a grip of this issue. Taking drugs is a symptom largely of addiction and depression, and, in earlier years, of social inadequacy, compliance or recreation, not of criminal intent. We may not approve, but to punish by lengthy incarceration is itself a reckless and uninhibited abuse of power. The result is the mindless destruction of a life, achieving nothing for society.

Posted by: peter | Dec 21, 2011 3:56:01 PM

Well, to start with, his whole family owes society a lot to make up for all those movie roles playing sympathetic bad guys. They always got away with stuff - but not no more! It's about time they paid up. Poor Cameron will probably be confined to watching re-runs of his dad (Gordon Gecko) and his "Bad and Beautiful" grampa ad infinitum.

Posted by: Jay L. | Dec 21, 2011 5:08:04 PM

1. Just how stupid and arrogant do you have to be to be taking hard drugs in prison when you're there to start with for taking hard drugs?

2. Having hard drugs in prison does not endanger just the person who possesses them. Deadly fights in prison for this kind of drug are far from infrequent. Prisons have enough problems without this.

3. Just as this incredibly rich guy could pay the costs of life at a luxury rehab center (how much rehab actually goes on, btw?), he can easily pay the costs of imprisonment.

4. I make this extremely repetitive point in response to an extremely repetitive argument: If you want the "drug war" ended, TAKE IT UP WITH CONGRESS. Just preaching to the choir about it doesn't get anything done, as forty years of said preaching has proved.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 21, 2011 5:47:37 PM

Yeah, Peter, stop commenting on a Sentencing Law and Policy blog about sentencing policy, even when the host of the blog asks for such comments. Guests of the blog should control what should be said in the comments, not the host. If you don't like a particular sentencing policy, TAKE IT UP WITH CONGRESS. Don't comment on a sentencing policy blog about it. Those of us who regularly read this sentencing policy blog don't actually want to read commentary about sentencing policy.

Posted by: Friend of Bill | Dec 21, 2011 6:12:44 PM

First of all to the writer who wrote this blog I would like to say .....what didn't you understand. He was trafficing LARGE amounts of drugs accross the U.S. which means he is selling them. Who do they sell to? Maybe your kids.
This is the reason the judge was so harsh. Hence, the reason for the "destructive" comment. I would add a threat to society.

Posted by: Concern for kids | Dec 21, 2011 7:00:10 PM

Friend of Bill --

After forty years of unproductive bellyaching, yes, it's time to stop singing to the choir. Is that too hard to understand?

How many hundreds of comments have said, in one way or another, "Stop the war on drugs"? Do you not think the point has been made by now?

I have been accused of being repetitive, but I don't hold a candle to the anti-CSA commenters. Not close.

Registering your dismay anonymously on an all-comers blog moves the ball? Really? What's the evidence of that?

While we're at it, maybe you could cut the rant long enough to consider this: Entirely irrespective of its adverse legal consequences, has Cameron Douglas's use of drugs helped improve his life, or helped ruin it?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 21, 2011 9:17:06 PM

These sentences are pretextual. They would not withstand any utilitarian analysis. They are in bad faith. They are designed to steal tax money for worthless government workers, thus the dramatic pronouncement of head rent seeking judge. He is trying to distract the public from this false use of the law, and from its cost to the taxpayer, with nothing returned to the taxpayer.

I strongly support criminalizing rent seeking. The judge vermin on the Supreme Court have denied standing to the general taxpayer, on purpose. To preserve the rent. If rent seeking is not criminalized, it should be allowed as an intentional tort, by a Constitutional amendment. To deter.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 21, 2011 9:20:41 PM

Concern: Sweetie, my kids did not use drugs because they were brought up right, not because a thievin', worthless, government make work lawyer on the bench is socking it to the taxpayer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 21, 2011 9:35:17 PM

Congress is not a remedy, because incumbents are beholden to government workers, and have sympathy for them, being government workers themselves, even if conservative Republicans. Spend more than 3 months in Washington, wherever you came from becomes a foreign land that has lost all reality, like being in Japan and fitting into the culture. America loses its reality after a week steeped in that alien culture.

Because of the self-dealt immunities, violent self-help by night riders against these internal traitors has full moral, intellectual, and policy justification. Just beat their asses. To deter. If you kill them, their competitors will love it, replace them, and act the same way. You have to beat their asses so they can remember whom they work for.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 21, 2011 9:40:22 PM

Bill, I'm not up to speed on the qty of drugs Cameron was caught with, or if he received substantial assistance reduction.. BUT, an initial 5 yr sentence for dealing in a large qty of meth and heroin is a walk in the park....

Guessing he got a pretty good break on that initial sentence and the Judge (rightfully so) isn't going to put up with more, while doing his time..

If hes doing this in prison, whats he gonna do when he gets out....Work for Scareface as his lead...With a drug problem and being locked up Federally, its difficult to get drugs without having some bucks backing you...Its obvious that Cameron doesn't want to get better and to me thats the nbr one point...The individual has to want it for himself...Daddy can't buy it, the courts can't mandate treatment and make it worth while...Individual has to be the one wanting the change...I have no sympathy for Cameron...Good old DAD take the money away from the kid, so he has to live on his own wares, he needs it...

Thinking they will up his security level, so its harder to get drugs in..

Posted by: Josh2 | Dec 22, 2011 10:11:51 AM

Josh2 --

"Its obvious that Cameron doesn't want to get better and to me thats the nbr one point...The individual has to want it for himself...Daddy can't buy it, the courts can't mandate treatment and make it worth while...Individual has to be the one wanting the change..."

Nailed it.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 22, 2011 11:10:34 AM

i'm going to have to agree with bill and josh2 here. he got a major break on the first senctence...then was dumb enough to try and smuggle drugs INTO a federal prison..... lucky he's not getting life! these days something like that might bring a terrorism charge! LOL

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 22, 2011 11:27:34 AM

Merry Christmas in advance to Bill Otis for consistently "nailing stuff."

Posted by: Anon de plum | Dec 22, 2011 12:35:51 PM

Anon de plume --

Thank you for your Christmas wishes, and the same to you. But I must demur on the "nailing" stuff. It was Josh2, not me, who nailed the central importance of truly wanting to turn away from destructive drugs in order to succeed in doing so.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 22, 2011 2:23:53 PM

As is often true, TalkLeft reports the news behind the news: The Complicated Travails of Cameron Douglas and as as usual Jeralyn is able to translate legal complexities for the rest of us.

Posted by: George | Dec 22, 2011 2:24:01 PM

George --

Thank you for that enlightening story. The most amazing thing was that a defense lawyer illegally smuggled drugs to her client, thus getting herself AND HIM in yet more trouble. Great ethics there! Great judgment, too.

One thing the story left out is that Cameron's father told the authorities that his son HAD ALREADY BEEN IN REHAB FIVE OR SIX TIMES, and it never worked, because the kid looked down his nose at it.

The guy doesn't want to get clean. His sense of entitlement is fully out of control.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 22, 2011 3:08:23 PM

Friend of Bill,

The frustration is not so much with people commenting on or disagreeing with the drug war but is instead that all anyone seems to do is admire the problem. What Bill states (and implies) is correct. Stop the incessant bellyaching and convince Congress to make changes. That is surely more efficacious than calling those who disagree with you Nazis, tyrants, evil, etc.

A fairly large majority of Americans disagree with your position. Although it does not necessarily make us "right", it should give you pause to consider that the majority is just as convinced of the rightness of their position as you are. Insulting them is not the best method for convincing them that you are correct.

To Prof Berman: Two points. First, Bill is correct that we could just as easily have Mr. Douglas pay for prison as he would drug rehab. Second, you set up a false choice between "sitting in a federal prison cell" and "rehab." As a former prison employee and auditor, I can assure you that Mr. Douglas will receive countless opportunities to attend rehab. In NYSDOCS, we had substance abuse housing units (like a residential setting on the outside), daily (non-residential) counseling, both administered by counselors that were required to have more education in the field than those in civilian treatment centers. They also had AA, NA, etc. civilians that donated their time in the evenings.

The image of inmates sitting in a cell 22 hours per day with nothing to do but an hour in the yard and going to chow is outdated by several decades.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Dec 22, 2011 3:21:58 PM

That Jay L. apparently sees Gordon Gecko a sympathetic figure says more about Jay L. than it does about the Douglas Family.

And exactly how, TarlsQtr, might the Douglas family be induced to pay for their adult son's incarceration?

In an era when harsh prison terms are blithely imposed on virtually every defendant who enters The System it's difficult to say what's reasonable. Though to anyone who truly values liberty, fractions of the mindlessly harsh sentences prosecutors typically recommend seem more fitting than multiples.

Whether that's true or not, punishing a drug addict this severely for taking drugs suggests sadism is at play.

Posted by: John K | Dec 22, 2011 6:20:22 PM

John K --

"In an era when harsh prison terms are blithely imposed on virtually every defendant who enters The System it's difficult to say what's reasonable."

But it's a lot easier to say when you're the judge who has a boatload more facts about the case than any of us commenters, not so?

"Though to anyone who truly values liberty, fractions of the mindlessly harsh sentences prosecutors typically recommend seem more fitting than multiples."

But that very same judge thought the prosecutors' recommendation far too lenient, so the rote attack on prosecutors kinda falls flat here.

I see you want to adopt addiction as the all-purpose excuse. CP defendants are "addicted" so they get off. Druggies are "addicted" so they get off. Bank robbers are "addicted" to money so they get off.

Yikes.

P.S. Are you happy or sad that the crime rate has fallen by more than half in the age of "incarceration nation?"

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 22, 2011 7:08:44 PM

TarlsQtr --

You're a Nazi, tyrannical and evil, etc.

I just didn't want you to feel left out at Christmas. Not to worry, though -- you're equally bad the rest of the year.

You better watch out or there'll be nothing but coal in that stocking.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 22, 2011 7:12:18 PM

John K stated: "And exactly how, TarlsQtr, might the Douglas family be induced to pay for their adult son's incarceration?"

As the law stands now (or at least in practice), it cannot. However, I was responding to the original blog post that stated: "Consequently, I am wondering if anyone can explain in the comments why having Cameron Douglas in a federal prison cell for the next decade (at federal taxpayers' expense) is likely to better serve our society's interests than if Cameron Douglas were, say, forced to spend the next few years at a private drug addiction facility (at the Douglas family's expense)."

Bill Otis replied: "3. Just as this incredibly rich guy could pay the costs of life at a luxury rehab center (how much rehab actually goes on, btw?), he can easily pay the costs of imprisonment."

You see, under current law, we likely cannot force Douglas "to spend the next few years at a private drug addiction facility (at the Douglas family's expense)" either. I believe he is implying that it can (should?) be changed. If we can compel them via legislation to pay for years of rehab, why can it not be changed to force someone with means to pay for his own incarceration?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Dec 22, 2011 7:15:03 PM

John K stated: "In an era when harsh prison terms are blithely imposed on virtually every defendant who enters The System it's difficult to say what's reasonable."

Are you serious? A high percentage of first time felons get no prison time. In fact, in 2000 only 40% of ALL convicted felons (not just first time felons) went to prison. So much for "harsh prison terms" for "virtually every defendent."

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Dec 22, 2011 7:28:57 PM

Bill,

If the libs on this board were Santa Claus, I would indeed be skipped over on Saturday night. Of course the only god for most of them is a leviathan government anyway and their Santa comes once a month with a gubmint check in the mailbox. I work, so the Santa in a white Jeep and blue uniform skips me too.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Dec 22, 2011 7:41:07 PM

TarlsQtr --

" Of course the only god for most of them is a leviathan government..."

Not even God could build up this much debt.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 22, 2011 9:46:48 PM

article: "In one instance, Douglas convinced a defense attorney to smuggle prescription drugs for him in her bra when she visited him in prison, the judge said"

me: its sad that an educated and intelligent woman would have so little self confidence that she would be willing to do something like that for a man. Its simply pathetic. Okay, maybe I am assuming that there was more than an attorney client relationship here - but I see absolutely no other explaination than a complete lack of self confidence for a woman to be involved with a man who is a drug addict and a felon.

I guess there is another explanation - maybe he paid her extra to smuggle drugs in and its still pathetic. Especially since I doubt he was being represented by the local public defender's office.

Whether motivated by misplaced "love" or greed, things like this are what gives attorneys bad names. And needless to say I'm very much not happy about what the likely reaction by prisons to a female attorney being caught smuggling drugs in her bra will be. Thanks a lot for giving guards "justification" to sexually harass female attorneys.

Posted by: virginia | Dec 23, 2011 8:53:54 AM

anon de plume: "Merry Christmas in advance to Bill Otis for consistently "nailing stuff.""

me: wait, what does his wife say about that? ;)

bill: "But I must demur on the "nailing" stuff."

me: smart man that Bill Otis - he definitely knows what's good for him :P

sorry, I just can't resist being naughty. 'Tis the season, after all. Yes, I probably am getting coal in my stocking, but I still hold out hope that it will be coal in its crystal form ;)

Posted by: virginia | Dec 23, 2011 9:07:03 AM

Drug policy is unproductive in this country but celebrity offenders of this sort are not really the best way to get a good judge of things. Anyway, TalkLeft:

"So was Cameron's sentence too harsh? On balance, even though he's a manipulator and he needs a jolt of reality, I'd say yes. If the Government wants to put drug addicts in jail, it should either have to provide effective drug treatment immediately, rather than making them wait years until they are close to release, or accept the reality that inadequately treated inmates will repeatedly relapse by using drugs smuggled into the facility."

Drug addicts have a problem. Addicts are selfish -- they are addicted to drugs and that includes doing anything they can to get their fix. In this case, this included having someone risk her well being, someone who was romantically attached (fairly typical there), to smuggle in anti-anxiety pills. Not shocking an addict in prison not getting enough treatment would feel a need for that. Others don't need to do that, since it is well known that in various prisons, drugs are available. Maybe, less quality drugs than this, but that's a privilege of celebrity, I guess.

This guy is not the first one on my "cry for me Argentina" list, but as we continued to have a screwed up drug policy, it brings little satisfaction.

Posted by: Joe | Dec 23, 2011 9:47:14 AM

TarlsQtr -- Your statistics come predominantly from state convictions...which is akin to saying they come from another planet.

Citizens accused of crimes have half a chance of defending themselves and being treated fairly in most state courts. The federal system, on the other hand, is an abomination of unaccountable bureaucrats, sadistic prosecutors, mob-inciting lawmakers and political-hack judges.

Posted by: John K | Dec 23, 2011 2:29:54 PM

John K,

You made no distinction between federal and state prosecutions. You are only now doing so because your previous comment is ridiculous.

And I am sure that federal sentences are longer but your contention that it is because of "sadistic prosecutors" (such rhetoric does nothing but discredit your argument) is not supported by you. I would suspect that the longer sentences have much more to do with they types of crime under federal jurisdiction rather than "mob-inciting lawmakers."

Finally, your argument would only make sense if you could explain why prosecutors in the state systems are not "sadistic", why state law-makers are not just as "mob-inciting" as their Federal counterparts, etc. Don't most of these "sadistic" and "mob-inciting" people come up through the state ranks before accepting federal positions? Then shouldn't there be an equal problem there?

As an aside, I sincerely wish that progressives would give us our language back. Do you want to use "overzealous?" Go for it and make your case. Words like "sadistic" lose all meaning when you misuse it in such an irresponsible manner.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Dec 23, 2011 3:37:47 PM

Per the Reuters article, the sentencing judge stated:

"I don't believe that I have had another case ever ... of a defendant who has so recklessly, and flagrantly and wantonly, and criminally acted in as destructive and manipulative a fashion as Cameron Douglas has."

The judge is a federal judge in Manhattan. I assume he's sentenced perpetrators of major fraud schemes, corrupt politicians, and violent criminals. Yet, this case, involving an adult's non-violent, voluntary use of a substance derived from a poppy plant is the most wanton, flagrant, destructive "crime" the judge as seen?

Please.

Posted by: Calif. Capital Defense Counsel | Dec 23, 2011 8:31:07 PM

TarlsQtr,

"You made no distinction between federal and state prosecutions. You are only now doing so because your previous comment is ridiculous."

It was the action of federal court I was writing about.

"...your contention (longer sentences are a consequence) of 'sadistic prosecutors' ... is not supported by you. I would suspect that the longer sentences have much more to do with they types of crime under federal jurisdiction rather than "mob-inciting lawmakers."

Prosecutors, not judges, run the show in federal courts, and IMO they routinely abuse the power tools bestowed on them by grandstanding lawmakers -- namely harsh sentencing guidelines and brutal mandatory minimum sentences.

"...your argument would only make sense if you could explain why prosecutors in the state systems are not "sadistic", why state law-makers are not just as "mob-inciting" as their Federal counterparts, etc."

The difference is local voters who sense local cops, prosecutors, judges and lawmakers are mistreating fellow citizens have greater potential recourse through media exposure and, subsequently, at the polls. No similar accountability exists for thuggish federal prosecutors or hack-politician judges insulated by distant hide-bound bureaucracies or life-time appointments.

"As an aside, I sincerely wish that progressives would give us our language back. Do you want to use "overzealous?" Go for it and make your case. Words like "sadistic" lose all meaning when you misuse it in such an irresponsible manner."

Do you imagine, TarlsQtr, that Cameron Douglas -- after he goes through withdrawal in a prison cell -- will distinguish between zeal and sadism as his decade-long sentence (basically for being a heroin addict who somehow found a way to feed his addiction) slowly unfolds?

Posted by: John K | Dec 24, 2011 11:43:22 AM

As to the discussion up-thread concerning the "distinction between federal and state prosecutions", in my neck of the woods the main distinction is the size in general of the jury trial penalty and the risk that the penalty may fall on the prosecution rather than the defendant.

I both prosecuted and defended in a jurisdiction in which 90% of the statutory penalties were indeterminate: 1 to 5; 1 to 10; 1 to 20; 5 to 10; 5 to 20, and so on. There were very few mandatory minimums, so the judge could completely suspend the sentence. Plea bargaining was about charges not about time. As a result there was next to no jury trial penalty for a defendant in a case in which the prosecutor demanded a GP to all offense(s) charged.

A defendant could plead guilty to a 1 to 10 or let the jury sort it out knowing that he can't do worse than a 1 to 10. In cases in which a completely suspended sentence was justified from the start, as long as the defendant put on a credible defense before the jury, he was still a contender for a completely suspended sentence, even after being found guilty by the jury. So if a defendant had some room to maneuver on the facts or law, there really was only a small downside and a very large upside for trying the case to a jury.

In this environment the prosecutor was oftentimes screwed. No matter how strong his cases were, there would be an occasional not guilty and a number of compromise verdicts. But even when the prosecutor obtained a conviction for the offense charged, the indeterminate sentence to which the defendant was exposed was exactly the same if the defendant had pleaded guilty in the first place. In this context, the jury trial penalty for the prosecutor was there was no upside and a very large downside for doing all the work necessary to prosecute a jury trial.

Posted by: Fred | Dec 24, 2011 11:46:06 PM

John K stated: "Do you imagine, TarlsQtr, that Cameron Douglas -- after he goes through withdrawal in a prison cell -- will distinguish between zeal and sadism as his decade-long sentence (basically for being a heroin addict who somehow found a way to feed his addiction) slowly unfolds?"

John,

Do you think that the problem may lie in Douglas looking at what the prosecutor "did" to him rather than what he did to himself by putting that poison in his body? Or just as bad, people like you who are more than willing to enable such poor critical thinking and judgment?

I remember when my son was three. We were playing and he ran from one room to the next while looking back at me. He turned just in time to plant his face into the door jam, which caused him to cry. He slapped the jam because it was "bad" and "hurt" him. Of course, it did no such thing. The door jam had been there for years and has not moved. The same is true of the sentence Douglas received. He knew that taking H could result in a lengthy prison term. He knew that it would ruin his health, yet he CHOSE to put it into his body. Blaming "sadistic prosecutors" is just as childish as blaming the door jam. The difference is that Douglas is 33 and my son learned it at 3.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Dec 26, 2011 6:18:59 PM

It's very CLEAR many posters, including the professor DO NOT understand ADDICTIONS. You all talk as if it's a rational decision that someone suffering an addiction could make. Really??? Invest your time learing about addictions, instead of condeming people and their family's for a sickness that cannot be controlled. Not to mention how valueless you all sound about HUMAN LIFE. You spend significant time in prison or jail and see if you'd still talk as you do! Oh, it's the hollier than thou mindset. Also, not all prisons are like the one mentioned in NY. Many list drug programs and DO NOT provide them. Prisons/Jails are the last place anyone with an addiction belown. The prison staffs DO NOT have the appropriate means to treat such illnesses. They and many of YOU are brain-washed thinking GOOD vs BAD behavior, so lock um up and throw away the key mentality. Develope some compassion for the HUMAN SOUL and you for sure would have a differnet RESPONSE verse REACTION. You all need to spend your time making some effective changes, instead of what you call singing to the choir.
I AGREE WITH THIS:

High time someone got a grip of this issue. Taking drugs is a symptom largely of addiction and depression, and, in earlier years, of social inadequacy, compliance or recreation, not of criminal intent. We may not approve, but to punish by lengthy incarceration is itself a reckless and uninhibited abuse of power. The result is the mindless destruction of a life, achieving nothing for society.

Posted by: Ann H | Jan 5, 2012 8:28:23 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB