There are some people who think that anyone who is found in possession of drugs should be sent to prison without a second thought. Most of the people who share that train of thought probably don’t realize that mass criminalization doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Instead, it puts financial pressure on government entities that are responsible for paying the cost to keep these people locked up in prison.
There is another option that isn’t thought of very often. Instead of locking people up when they are charged with possession of drugs, send them to rehab to help them get the help they need. While that wouldn’t be a foolproof plan since addicts have to want to get better, it would be a step in the right direction.
The sad fact is that more than 1.6 million people are arrested, prosecution, and sentenced for drug law violations each year. That staggering figure includes people who are sent jail or prison, placed on probation, or deported. In many cases, while they are completing their sentences, they don’t get any help to get off of the drugs.
The war on drugs is one that should include social and criminal elements so that the people who need help to get off of drugs aren’t facing the same penalties as the people who traffic drugs or sell them. If you are facing drug possession charges, you might have options that can keep you out of prison. Find out about all options before your case heads to court so that you can determine if there are any options that would help you to live a clean and sober life.
Source: Drug Policy Alliance, “Mass Criminalization,” accessed March 23, 2016
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