war on drugs

Ryan E. Poppe

Sen. John Cornyn has proposed legislation that would allow some non-violent drug offenders to be considered for sentences lower than the federal mandatory sentences.  

Maryland Department of Health http://1.usa.gov/1yyvLF8


When Jack O'Connor was 19, he was so desperate to beat his addictions to alcohol and opioids that he took a really rash step. He joined the Marines.

"This will fix me," O'Connor thought as he went to boot camp. "It better fix me or I'm screwed."

After 13 weeks of sobriety and exercise and discipline, O'Connor completed basic training, but he started using again immediately.

"Same thing," he says. "Percocet, like, off the street. Pills."

Three stories of the drug war are woven into a beautifully shot, well made documentary called Kingdom of Shadows. Grieving families, aging former traffickers, undercover law enforcement and crusading activists are all highlighted in a brutal war that has taken many lives. The movie charts the evolution of the illicit drug industry and the raging violence that has hit Mexico with full force. 

It screened at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Nov 10th at 7:30 PM.

A federal inspection station on Interstate 10 in the West Texas desert earned the nickname "checkpoint of the stars" for all the entertainers who kept getting busted there. In the past six years, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Nelly and Fiona Apple were all arrested for possession of marijuana.

These days, though, after a decision by a local lawman, everyone from personal pot smokers to medium-size marijuana traffickers can avoid jail.

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