From: The Psychedelic Salon
Guest speaker: Ethan Nadelmann
[NOTE: All quotations are by Ethan Nadelmann.]
"The War on Drugs, this policy of punitive prohibition, is a horror in our society, something that cannot be morally justified, cannot be justified in terms of health, can certainly not be justified in terms of public safety, that cannot be justified in terms of any kind of fiscal prudence that I’ve ever heard of."
"The War on Drugs is a cancer in our society, in our American society and in global society."
"There’s never been a drug-free society, and there’s never going to be a drug-free society. We are moving increasingly into a world in which there will be ever-more psychoactive drugs available."
"The stand-bys, you know, the old faithfuls of tobacco and alcohol and marijuana and coca cocaine and opium, they’ve been with us for thousands of years in one way or another, and they’re going to continue to be part of our society and our lives, whether we like it or not."
"When drug treatment gets owned by the criminal justice system, drug treatment simply becomes a synonym for coerced abstinence."
"We need to aim to cut America’s incarcerated population in half, to pick a rough number."
"We need to get that term, over-incarceration, into the popular dialogue, into the popular language."
"One of the definitions of power is when somebody tells you to do something, and you do it without asking why. That’s the definition of power. Somebody tells you to do it and you do it without even asking why, that’s the power of the prison-industrial complex today."
"California used to be known as the state of higher education and is now known as the state of higher incarceration."
"When you live in a society where one of the most powerful political forces is the organization which earns its livelihood from keeping its fellow citizens behind bars, I don’t know of any other free society in which that is the case. That’s a distortion."
"I define recovery as getting to the point where your drug use, if you use drugs, is no longer impairing your life. … That’s the objective, to get on with your life."
"It’s about accepting that each one of us, who have struggled with drugs, has to find their own path. And that the role of the state should certainly not be to get in the way and optimally to facilitate this."
"That we are each sovereign over our own minds and bodies, that is the core principle that we have to keep putting out there."