Justin Bieber is in the news for drugs again, but it’s totally not what ya think! He’s one of many celebs urging President Obama to end the War on Drugs, and switch his focus off of incarceration and onto intervention and rehabilitation.
In an open letter to Obama that has been backed by Bieber, Kerry Washington, Will Smith, Scarlett Johansson, and pretty much every other famous person under the sun (even the Kardashians are in on it!), Russell Simmons praises the President’s commitment to cleaning up our streets, but urges him to “address the increased incarceration rates for non-violent crimes” and commit “increased funds to drug prevention and treatment programs.”
“Hundreds of thousands of children have lost a parent to long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses, leaving these children to fend for themselves. Many of these children end up in the criminal justice system, which comes as no surprise as studies have shown the link between incarceration and broken families, juvenile delinquency, violence and poverty,” writes Russell. In other words, Russell and all of the artists and activists involved want to break the cycle and treat rather than imprison minor drug offenders.
In 2010, the U.S. spent over $15 billion on the War on Drugs! We spend $30,000 a year on the average inmate, but only $11,665 per high school student. Do you think this is money well-spent, or do you think Russell, Bieber, and friends have a point? Let us know in the comments, or Tweet us.
If you or a friend is worried about drug use please check out Half Of Us for help.