The Scale of the Problem

It’s perhaps unsurprisingly difficult to obtain detailed figures showing exactly how many prisoners are in jail for psychedelic or other drug related crimes. The data below comes from information obtained by Release from the UK Government and covers the period 2004-2014. It’s important to remember that each number in this data is a person, a person who has become a victim of the war on drugs (or more accurately the War on some people who take some types of drugs). It makes for interesting reading…

info-graphics courtesy of Strange Diva

At Scales we are interested in inspiring the global psychedelic community to take action to support prisoners. This means that we focus on people who have become victims of the drug war because of their association with psychedelics. That said we recognize that psychedelic drugs shouldn’t be imaged as ‘good’ while stimulants and narcotics are considered to be ‘bad’. To do so damages the solidarity that the psychedelic community should have with all those who oppose the war on drugs. Carl Hart, author of the must-read book High Price, points this out in a recent lecture.

Meanwhile the campaign to raise the profile of the injustice of William Leonard Pickard’s double life sentence is ongoing. While legal work is happening behind the scenes Kathleen Lakey, as well as co-presenting and editing The Rose Garden, has also made a film about Leonard and his work. 

What can you do?

In Britain there’s a general election coming up. Please get in touch with your favourite party and ask them what they are doing to stop the drug war and end prohibition.

If you are able please help Scales to gather more information about how many people are in jail across the globe for using psychedelic substances.

Please keep us informed of specific cases and actions. For example the recent case of Sara Glatt and of Daniel Ray Hawkins and Benjamin Blake Lumpkin.

Stay high, stay free!

Julian Vayne

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