This Friday marks the 45th anniversary of one of the most controversial and criticized crime-reduction policies in our nation’s history. On June 17, 1971 Richard Nixon’s administration published a special message from the President to the Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control declaring drug abuse as “public enemy number one” in the U.S. The message included language about devoting more federal resources to this cause, in the hopes of “prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted.” While that goal seemed to be born of the noble intentions, the resulting policy, widely known as the “War on Drugs,” has played out less as a strategy to protect people from the perils of substance abuse and more as a witch hunt, vilifying any connection to drugs and lumping minor offenders in with serious criminals. In addition to costing the U.S. roughly $51 billion annually to maintain, the War on Drugs leans heavily on the cooperation of confidential informants. Law enforcement recruits these informants by leveraging their own (often minor) drug offenses to compel them to cooperate. While acting as an informant is often portrayed to minor drug offenders as a path toward retribution and reduction of punishments, the glaring reality remains that these practices frequently thrust largely defenseless, unaware young offenders into dangerous circumstances. “Today’s drug war involves a countless number of confidential informants – many of which are young people who are busted for a small amount of drugs and then coerced into making much higher-level deals, putting them in very dangerous situations” says Derek Rosenfeld of the Drug Policy Alliance. The DPA, the leading organization in the U.S. working on alternatives to the Drug War, has spent years fighting for more sensible drug abuse prevention policies. As the DPA’s Tony Newman explains, “There are so many sick aspects of the failed drug war, but law enforcement forcing people with a drug arrest to choose between a draconian prison sentence or becoming an informant is one of the most nauseating.”Beginning with an “Action Day” pre-party today and running through Sunday, The Purple Hatter’s Ball at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL this weekend aims to call attention to one such case—the tragic story of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman. After being arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, Hoffman, a 23-year-old FSU graduate, was compelled to participate in a large-scale buy-bust operation involving 1,500 ecstasy pills, 2 ounces of cocaine, a handgun, and $13,000 cash. The deal went south, and Hoffman was murdered in the process. In her memory, the Purple Hatter’s Ball seeks to increase awareness of ongoing miscarriages of justice under the umbrella of the War on Drugs, inspire reform to drug-related policies like the Confidential Informant Law, and inspire people to lead healthier, safer lives in the live music community and beyond.How One Mother Turned Tragedy Into Triumph: The Rachel Morningstar Hoffman StoryFor more information on Rachel Morningstar Hoffman and the Purple Hatter’s Ball, visit the festival’s website.
SULLIVAN – The George Stevens Academy boys’ and girls’ cross country teams won the Seacoast Invitational on Friday.The GSA girls won with 15 points, and the boys won with 18.For the girls, nine GSA runners placed among the top 11 finishers in the 5K. Eliza Broughton won in 17 minutes and 38 seconds; Zeya Lorio took second in 18:18; Mary Richardson, third in 18:22; Hanna Gutow, fifth in 19:08; Tess Williamson, sixth in 19:16; Bella Cimeno, seventh in 19:33; Alessandra Rovescala, ninth in 19:36; Emma Larson-Whittaker; and Rachel DesFosses, 11 in 20:39.Tasha Clement of Bucksport placed fourth in 19:07.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFor the boys, GSA’s Will Entwisle won in 15:43. Oliver Dillon took second (15:44); Oliver Broughton, fourth (16:13); and Aylen Wolf, fifth (16:13).Brendan Penfold of Deer Isle-Stonington placed sixth in 16:13.Find more results at the links below:Girls’ resultsBoys’ results
Class A1. West Hancock @ Garner-Hayfield-Ventura2. Alta-Aurelia @ Lawton-Bronson3. Wapsie Valley vs Clayton Ridge4. Saint Ansgar vs West Fork5. Council Bluffs St. Albert @ 2A #9 Kuemper6. Edgewood-Colesburg @ Bellevue7. Hudson vs Jesup8. Algona Garrigan vs Emmetsburg9. Wayne (Corydon) @ Woodward Academy10.Mason City Newman @ Lake Mills Class 3A1. Western Dubuque @ Clinton2. Solon @ Mount Vernon3. Cedar Rapids Xavier vs 1A #9 Regina4. North Scott vs 4A #3 Iowa City West5. Pella vs #7 Dallas Center-Grimes6. Sergeant Bluff-Luton vs Lewis Central7. Dallas Center-Grimes @ #5 Pella8. Sioux City Heelan @ Sioux City East9. Decorah @ 2A #1 Waukon10.Spencer @ Spirit Lake Class 2A1. Waukon vs 3A #9 Decorah2. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley @ 1A #1 West Sioux3. Clear Lake vs Osage4. Crestwood @ Charles City5. Williamsburg @ West Marshall6. Algona vs Humboldt7. Des Moines Christian @ West Central Valley8. Chariton vs Creston/O-M9. Carroll Kuemper vs A #5 St. Albert10.Waterloo Columbus vs Iowa Falls-Alden Class 1A1. West Sioux vs 2A #2 Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley2. Dike-New Hartford vs Denver3. Van Meter vs Earlham4. West Branch @ West Liberty5. West Lyon vs Central Lyon6. Pella Christian @ Oskaloosa7. Mediapolis vs West Burlington8. Mount Ayr vs Nodaway Valley9. Iowa City Regina @ 3A #3 Xavier10.South Central Calhoun @ East Sac County Class 4A1. Dowling Catholic vs #2 Waukee2. Waukee @ #1 Dowling3. Iowa City West @ 3A #4 North Scott4. Ankeny Centennial vs #9 Ankeny5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy vs CR Jefferson6. WDM Valley @ Southeast Polk7. Bettendorf @ Pleasant Valley8. Cedar Falls vs Ames9. Ankeny @ #4 Centennial10.Dubuque Senior @ Linn-Mar Eight-man1. Don Bosco @ #9 Gladbrook-Reinbeck2. Newell-Fonda vs Collins-Maxwell3. Fremont-Mills vs Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton4. Turkey Valley @ AGWSR5. Remsen St. Mary’s vs #7 Audubon6. New London (1-0) Idle7. Audubon (1-0) @ #5 Remsen St. Mary’s8. Iowa Valley (1-0) Idle9. Gladbrook-Reinbeck vs #1 Don Bosco10.Lenox (1-0) @ Sidney