Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Prominent Women "Woman Up" for Drug Law Reform in Letter to Obama that Addresses Children's Concerns

Actress and Obama campaign co-chair Eva Longoria

What do Eva Longoria, Roseanne Barr, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson, Cameron Diaz, Scarlett Johannson, three Kardashians (Kim, Khloe and Kourtney), Demi Moore, Sarah Silverman, Susan Sarandon, Ani Difranco, Missy Elliott, Jennifer Hudson, Natalie Maines, Nicki Minaj, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and authors Michelle Alexander and Naomi Klein have in common with John Hamm, Ron Howard, Richard Branson and Mike Tyson?

They've all signed an open letter to President Obama calling for an end to the injustice of the war on drugs. Also signing were civil rights leaders and advocates, members of the faith community, business leaders and athletes, all members of a coalition 175 strong lead by Russell Simmons and the Drug Policy Alliance.

The letter says:

"The greatest victims of the prison industrial complex are our nation’s children. Hundreds of thousands of children have lost a parent to long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses, leaving these children to fend for themselves. Many of these children end up in the criminal justice system, which comes as no surprise as studies have shown the link between incarceration and broken families, juvenile delinquency, violence and poverty....

"Many of those impacted by the prison industrial complex are among your most loyal constituents. Your struggles as the child of a single mother allow you to identify with millions of children who long to be with their parents. We request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these ideas further and empower our coalition to help you achieve your goals of reducing crime, lowering drug use, preventing juvenile incarceration and lowering recidivism rates. We stand with you, ready to do what is just for America." 

The letter also asks Obama to form a panel to review requests for clemency that come to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. 

Justin Bieber didn't sign but made news when he tweeted support. And the NAACP president told the US to man up and reform the WOD, tweeted the Marijuana Majority. In response to a tweet with a link to this article, MM responded that Ben Jealous also said "woman up" in his excellent interview (well worth a look).

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