In the Open

Well, well, well...a Western country - not the Netherlands - has a progressive approach to drug criminalization, and after 5 years, it's effective. In 2001, Portugal removed all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Drug use has declined in all age groups, and so has HIV transmission from sharing dirty needles. Rather than giving jail time, therapy is recommended. Certainly the momentum for de-criminalizing drug possession (and sale)is gaining in the United States, where proponents argue that getting everything out in the open is the only way to beat the so-called war on drugs.

I make mention of this, not only because I support it, but because there's another very touchy subject that just needs to be brought out in the open - illegal immigration. It is beyond time to create a system that tracks the 13 million illegals (who knows how accurate that is) living and working in the United States. It's a ridiculous elephant in the room that we have somehow let the right control this debate. There really isn't a debate - we need to know who these people are. That doesn't mean make them US citizens - that's ridiculous. But purposely keeping them unknown is also giving them amnesty. People on the right need to see that - a wall around the border is NOT going to stem the flood of immigrants into the country, and neither is piecemeal, half-assed immigration legislation. It's just unfortunate that Obama inherited one of the biggest messes in history, and this issue will probably remain in the hopper. But we're long past the debate of what to do with the immigrants - bar none, we need to know who they are, and if you de facto criminalize them...well, good luck in finding out who they are. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone, our country is enriched with the Latino influence!