Tuesday, April 29, 2008


As always I have been communicating with legislators this week about various bills. Most notable is HB679 the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act. During a discussion about that bill one legislator (who shall remain nameless) wrote the following to me in an email.

On a side note I think your message on drugs and prisons (while we don't always agree) are indeed forcing people to debate this issue differently. That is a good thing and most certainly healthy for Alabama.

That makes me very happy. It is affirmation that they are listening and starting to think a little differently about how substance use and addiction are handled and that I am an important factor in facilitating their change of focus. That has always been the main goal. Just to have the discussion and stop all this fear based, knee-jerk, reactionary response to what is truly natural human behavior.

Yes some drugs are bad and can hurt the users...but the prohibition of them has failed so badly and only magnifies the harms associated with use. The goal in drug policy reform is to get people to realize that drug use is something that can never be eradicated and that the very best thing to do is accept that and focus on how to reduce the harms for people who decide to use them. Just like we did with alcohol prohibition.


1 comment:

Don said...

It’s great to see that at least one legislator listens and actually responds to a citizen. I think more of them would if they heard from more voters more often. I wish more voters would contact legislators and tell them of their concerns and what they want done about them. So many people moan, groan, and complain about our government, but it seems that entirely too few actually try to do something constructive to improve it. If a number of voters contact a member of the legislature that represents them and say essentially the same thing about a particular issue, then that office holder pays attention because they know that those that contact them represent only the tip of the iceberg in their districts, so to speak.