“Nicole Richardson was 18-years-old when her boyfriend, Jeff, sold nine grams of LSD to undercover federal agents. She had nothing to do with the sale. There was no reason to believe she was involved in drug dealing in any way.
But then an agent posing as another dealer called and asked to speak with Jeff. Nicole replied that he wasn’t home, but gave the man a number where she thought Jeff could be reached.
An innocent gesture? It sounds that way to me. But to federal prosecutors, simply giving out a phone number made Nicole Richardson part of a drug dealing conspiracy. Under draconian mandatory minimum sentences, she was sent to federal prison for ten years without possibility of parole.
To pile irony on top of injustice, her boyfriend – who actually knew something about dealing drugs – was able to trade information for a reduced sentence of five years. Precisely because she knew nothing, Nicole had nothing with which to barter.”
Now, normally when you see such an account, certain reactionaries claim that incidents like these are isolated. The War on Drugs is important and makes our streets safer. The only people who oppose it are youngsters abusing drugs and helping terrorists.
That’s not how Walter Cronkite sees it.
Yeah, you heard me. This isn’t some libertarian crank, not some hippie, not some 15-year-old rebellious youth.
And just think: your taxpayer dollars are funding this.