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Dear First Lady Michelle Obama:
Over the past few years of the presidency, you have made it your mission to help children, especially with their health, and this is a platform that I can get behind.
I agree completely that the health of our next generation is of the utmost importance. Where we seem to differ is where the lines of health begin and end.
This time of year is so full of food and family, and it is in this frame of mind that I ask you to consider the repercussions of America’s War on Drugs. Please take a moment to think about the families that have been broken up and cannot come together to celebrate this holiday season together, due to drug war policies.
This war fought on our own soil is devastating to the health of our young generation. America’s children are suffering mental, emotional, and physical anguish at the hands of our government agencies when they are separated from their parents and placed into foster care or state custody due to parental drug convictions.
Studies show that on our current trajectory in the US, 1 in 3 of our children will be arrested for a non-violent drug offense before they turn 23. Any headway made by your initiatives for childhood health is tossed aside if these children enter the prison system.
I see these health issues to be as significant as the nutritional issues that you have advanced, and therefore should be addressed just as aggressively.
We as a nation have reached a turning point, realizing that the War on Drugs has been more harmful than helpful, and now we must ask for leadership in turning this ship around. The world is ready and the United States has firsthand knowledge of the destruction and must act.
This war has gotten out of control, as do wars that have outlasted their purpose. The war has failed, and in the process has torn the fabric of our very society, our families.
I recently read that Nelson Mandela once said that “there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul, than the way in which it treats its children.” The war on drugs has taken a warpath aimed right at our kids.
Let’s put it all to rest with this administration, and look toward the good that could be accomplished with a different approach: healthy families that can seek help with addiction in a medical system, instead of the criminal system that we currently use to combat this medical issue. Let’s begin a Harm Reduction platform, meant to heal our country instead of imprisoning it.
If you are truly interested in the health of America’s children, this is a way you could truly make a difference.
Submitted to Ladybud by Jenna Broome and Sharon Ravert