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Friday, June 21, 2013

Jack Cole, of LEAP, to be in Wichita Sept. to challenge the War on Drugs


Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner;

Plans are being drafted for a dialog on the effects of the “war on drugs,” with local peace and social justice organizations bringing in Jack Cole, a co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), in September.
Cole will be in Wichita between Sept. 21st and 29th and will address the failures of a 40 year-old War on Drugs. In the last 30 years the U.S. prison population has mushroomed until this country has the highest population of prisoners in the world. For a country that holds itself up as “The land of the free” and “a beacon of hope” for those who want their freedom in other parts of the world, having this high a prison population makes those claims seem ridiculous.
Some of the issues that are bound to come up are constitutionality of waging such a severe campaign. There are such issues as cruel and unusual punishment, illegal search and seizure, violating people’s privacy and making felons of a large part of the US population, meaning these people are stripped of their citizenship rights such as voting.
Promotional materials that Cole has been distributing here in the Wichita area emphasize that;
“War on Drugs has failed to address the problems of drug abuse — especially the problems of juvenile drug use, addiction and crime caused by a criminal black market in drugs. Mass incarceration for non-violent crimes disproportionately affects black, brown & poor populations and destroys individual lives and communities.”
Kansas for Change and Justice & Education Not Incarceration (JENI) are sponsoring Cole’s speaking –tour, although other local organizations have endorsed it. His speaking engagements are filling up fast. Cole will address the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Wichita on Sept. 25th at noon. Cole is also planning to meet at the Pachyderm Club, a Republican Party club, which meets at the Petroleum Building, Sept. 27, 11:30am to 1pm. He has plans to address the City Council, Wednesday of that week and the County Commission. His agenda is filling up fast, so there will be more information on this effort as it gets worked out.

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