We Have a Golden Opportunity to End the War on Drugs: Can You Help?
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Let's Tell Our New President What Should Be Done
As president, Barack Obama is not likely to be a "drug reformer" -- at least not at first. But Americans' ability -- largely motivated by their economic fears -- to rethink many of their assumptions will fuel a reassessment and a new degree of pragmatism about drug use. Obama's choice of R. Gil Kerlikowske, police chief of Seattle, to become the new drug czar has been met with cautious optimism from drug reformers. We need law enforcement officials to get more in tune with the wishes of those 13 states that have legalized the physician-supervised use of medicinal marijuana. It is crucial that the militaristic attitude toward drug use be replaced by an orientation about health. Drug leadership should reflect more the values of a surgeon general than a military general.
So Will you Help AlterNet?
You may wonder, how does AlterNet we reach so many people? It's mainly our readers and fans who spread the word. A recent article about the bong experience of Olympic star Michael Phelps, by Tony Newman, was voted onto on the front page of Digg for 7 Days and was seen by more than 250,000 readers.
Many drug-related articles are read by more than 100k people and are spread by e-mail. Bloggers link to the stories. Our readers post them to their Facebook pages. And of course AlterNet has a big natural audience -- an average of 3 million visitors a month during 2008 -- that gobbles up stories about drugs.
But we can't do it all for free. And the economic crisis is hitting us, as it is hitting you too. Can we count on you to help us keep getting the word out?
Our goal is to raise $25k by April 15th, to ensure that we have a staff person devoted to helping end the drug war during 2009. This is a small amount of money compared to the many millions of dollars that have been invested over the years, both in the drug war and in the fight against it. Let's keep our eye on the ball and change public opinion person by person.
The biggest opportunity in history for fundamental drug reform is sitting in front of us. Together we can make the changes. We at AlterNet are ready. Can we count on you to help?
Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.