To the editor:

It is time to put an end to the longest running war in our country's history. While you might think I'm talking about the war in Afghanistan, there has been another war that has been going on much longer and is being waged against everyday citizens. This war is the war on drugs.

How many more families will be ripped apart and how many more lives will be ruined before we put an end to this madness? Rather than showing compassion and helping those with substance abuse issues get the help they need, our government has waged war against its own citizens in a terribly misguided and ultimately futile attempt to stop the flow of drugs.

Not to mention that the vast majority of drug war arrests are for possession or cultivation of cannabis. Police departments across the country stand to save millions once cannabis is legalized. These police resources can then be used for more important matters.

Another thing to consider is how some parts of our country are in the midst of a drug crisis — the opiate epidemic. The war on drugs did nothing to prevent doctors from over-prescribing opiates, and it didn't stop pharmaceutical companies from pushing them.

The private prison system is also part of the issue. Private prisons make a profit by incarcerating people, and if the prisons aren't full, they will eventually find a way to fill them.

Prison/police unions, pharmaceutical corporations and alcohol companies are preventing progress by lobbying against cannabis legalization.

Matthew Mixon

Billerica

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