By John Payne
The July issue of Reason Magazine carries an article on the problems with drug courts, and it opens with the story of Trish and Daryl Bertrand, who had their home raided in 2010 by law enforcement in Christian County near Springfield. The Bertrands have since become two of the most committed activists fighting to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. Between the two of them, they gathered thousands of signatures on the legalization petition in 2012 and have been one of the driving forces for decriminalization in Springfield.
Article author Mike Riggs wonders whether the titular "Kinder, Gentler Prohibition" of drug courts will slow down the progress towards legalization, and he ultimately concludes that, at least in the case of marijuana, drug courts are unlikely to put that genie back in the bottle. I agree, but Riggs never considers how powerful a force for real change the people who are currently suffering under drug courts can be, and the Bertrands are the perfect example of that.
If everyone who has been hurt by prohibition worked half as hard to end that failed policy as the Bertrands do, I truly believe that cannabis would already be legal in this state.