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Irate in drug war … again … still

congressmillionairesThe drug war profits organized crime in both public and private sectors, along with the trillion-dollar big pharmaceutical industry. Which, in turn, is a major perverter of our political system. The campaign finance reports are published, available to any and all, but widely ignored. Big Pharma buys our politicians. We have the best politicians money can buy – Will Rogers The costs of all this profiteering are obviously borne by the peasant and trade classes, us.

This iteration of prohibition is no more popular among the people than the one a century ago, but the bread and circuses are more successful this time at keeping us from threatening our masters enough to repeal their profiteering.

Two news articles jumped in my face this morning that highlight major parts of the problem, and remind me that is is crucial for us to
For the health of we the people, our communities, and to reduce even a little bit, the power and predation of the ruling class.

How many artisans, inventors, coaches, employers, teachers, employees, mothers and fathers have been STOLEN from our communities by the profitable, and power-creating war on drugs?

When will we have had enough?

Here is today’s news that inspired my ire. Click on the linked titles for the full articles.

Over half of $1.2 trillion mass incarceration costs fall on families, communities

inmates“For every dollar in corrections spending, there’s another 10 dollars of other types of costs to families, children and communities that nobody sees because it doesn’t end up on a state budget,” Michael McLaughlin, a doctoral student and certified public accountant, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

McLaughlin is the lead researcher for “The Economic Burden of Incarceration in the US,” a study recently conducted by Washington University in St. Louis. Along with a team of researchers, he and Carrie Pettus-Davis, a co-director for the Smart Decarceration Initiative and director of the Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice, both Washington University-based, determined that the “annual economic burden” of US incarceration is an estimated $1.2 trillion, according to The Source, a Washington University publication.

The $1.2 trillion figure is nearly 6 percent of GDP and is 11 times the cost of what governments pay for corrections, the study reports, based on 22 costs from three categories: “costs of corrections,” “costs borne by incarcerated persons,” and “costs borne by families, children, and communities.”

Women are the fastest rising prison population

female-inmatesFemale prisoners were once unheard of in most US counties, but in the last half-century, they have been filling cells with higher rate increases than their male counterparts, according to a new study.

Mandatory minimum sentencing and the drug war have contributed to the phenomenon of prison overpopulation, but even as the issue grows this presidential election year, the full scope of the impact on American life is still being uncovered.

In a study released Wednesday by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Safety and Justice Challenge initiative, the number of women in prison and jails in 2014 was reported to have multiplied nearly 14 times from 1970.

“Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail,” the report read, according to the New York Times.

Opioid epidemic: Treatment costs surge 1,300 percent in 4 years

drugs The US healthcare system is grappling with an opioid epidemic that is decimating some communities. While Congress has yet to further fund treatment, the private healthcare sector has been struggling with the associated costs.

Most Americans believe that opioids are the biggest drug problem facing the country, and health insurers are likely to agree, based on the findings of Fair Health’s white papers. Their report found claims related to opioid dependence have increased 3,203 percent from 2007 to 2014 – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

As the amount of prescription painkillers and heroin dependence-related claims increase, so too have the costs associated with them.

“In 2015, private payors’ average costs for a patient diagnosed with opioid abuse or dependence were more than 550 percent higher – almost $16,000 more per patient – than the per-patient average cost based on all patients’ claims,”