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Photo: East Bay Express
Retired police officer Russ Jones: “When I arrested a drug dealer, all I did was create a job opening”

‚ÄčRuss Jones, who has spent more than 30 years fighting the War On Drugs, has something to say about his life’s work: it is a complete failure that should be ended.

“The U.S. over the last four decades has spent $1 trillion of our tax dollars, made 38 million nonviolent drug arrests and quadrupled our prison population,” Jones said, reports columnist Tom Barnidge of the Contra Costa Times. “And the rate of addiction today, 1.3 percent, is the same as it was in 1970, when we started.”
Jones, 64, spoke to the Martinez Rotary Club last week on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a volunteer organization of 15,000 former judges, prosecutors, federal agents and police officers working for the end of drug prohibition.
He wasn’t specifically promoting California’s Prop 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state, but he said he welcomed any advancement toward the larger goal of legalizing and regulating all controlled substances.