Writing in the NY Times, the world's most famous peanut farmer calls for an end to the global war on drugs. I concur. Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter provides roughly zero political cover for Democrats (such as Obama) who need to play tough guy on the War on Drugs for the same reasons they play tough guy on the War on Terror. By way of example, Rudy Giuliani has a background that would allow him to move the needle on the drug war, if ever he would switch sides.
And since this is Jimmy Carter, I don't trust a word he is saying. This passage reeks of phony statistics:
And the single greatest cause of prison population growth (in the US) has been the war on drugs, with the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses increasing more than twelvefold since 1980.
Since earlier Jimmy told us that in the 70's non-violent offenders were treated leniently, his starting baseline of 1980 must be very low. Seeing the actual numbers of incarcerated non-violent offenders, rather than being told of a twelve-fold increase from a low baseline, would be more convincing. That said, I am sure he is thematically correct.