Pat Robertson, the high priest of the religious right, had some startling things to say about drugs.
"I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol," This war on drugs just hasn't succeeded."
"It's completely out of control," Mr. Robertson said. "Prisons are being overcrowded with juvenile offenders having to do with drugs. And the penalties - the maximums - some of them could get 10 years for possession of a joint of marijuana. It makes no sense at all."
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- The total number of Americans under correctional supervision (prison, parole, etc.) is 7.1 million, more than the entire state of Massachusetts.
- America makes up 5% of the world's population, but make up 25% of jailed prisoners
- In the past two decades, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education.
- In 2011, California spent $9.6 billion on prisons, versus $5.7 billion on higher education.
- Since 1980, California has built one college campus; it's built 21 prisons.
- California spends $8,667 per student per year. It spends about $50,000 per inmate per year.
- Prisons are a big business. Most are privately run. They have powerful lobbyists and they have bought most state politicians.