Cameron and Michael Douglas in April 2009 (Getty Images)
It takes guts to blog about drug policies in the United States while you're sitting in jail for drug-related crimes. Some may take his words as sour grapes and blame-shifting for the hand he was dealt when he was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration for possession of methamphetamine in July 2009, charged with intent to distribute, and has since been caught twice possessing drugs while in prison. Because of those infractions, time was added to his initial sentence, and he will serve for 10 years.
Still, Douglas made his point in an opus in The Huffington Post about imprisoning those convicted of non-violent drug-related crimes, and he did so while taking responsibility for his continued problems.
After admitting he's spent roughly two years of the four he's already served in solitary confinement "in a vicious cycle of relapse and repeat, as most addicts are," the actor and deejay declared that "the bigger picture is much more disturbing."
"There are half a million other people in the U.S. who, like me, will go to sleep behind bars tonight because of nothing more than a drug law violation," he wrote. "Our prisons are filled with non-violent drug offenders who are losing much of what is relevant in life. This outdated system pays little, if any, concern to the disease of addiction, and instead punishes it more harshly than many violent crimes. And even more exasperating is that many of the people responsible for this tragedy disregard documented medical research and the reality of our country's unsustainable prison overpopulation…
"Unfortunately, whereas the effective remedy for relapse should be treatment, the penal system's 'answer' is to lock the door and throw away the key. Somehow, with the astronomical rate of recidivism, largely due to drug violations, no one seems to comprehend that tossing individuals desperate for skills to cope with addiction behind bars, no matter for how long a period of time, does absolutely nothing but temporarily deter them from succumbing to their weakness. Instead of focusing on how many individuals this county can keep imprisoned, why can we not focus on how many individuals we can keep from coming back?"
Wisely, the younger Douglas doesn't let himself off the hook, and recognized that he has it better than most.
"I'm not saying that I didn't deserve to be punished, or that I'm worthy of special treatment. I made mistakes and I'll gladly and openly admit my faults," he admitted, later writing, " I feel thoroughly blessed. I have a beautiful and loving family who has faithfully supported me every step of the way, believing in me and refusing to give up in the face of one bleak adversity after the next."
The grandson of Kirk and Diana Douglas concluded by admitting he feels there may be "a beautiful purpose hidden along this painful journey" and he hopes to make a difference and "fulfill my humble part in this extraordinary existence."
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