Emily Parsons

Emily Parsons is managing editor of The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Other War at Home

Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do about It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs By Judge James P. Gray. Temple University Press, 272 pages, $19.95 O ne day about eight years ago, Judge James P. Gray held a press conference on the steps of the Santa Ana courthouse where he served and still serves as a California superior-court trial judge. He spoke out that day against U.S. drug policy, referring to the war on drugs as "our biggest failure" and calling for the legalization of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Many in his community, from the sheriff ("What was this guy smoking?") to the deputy district attorney ("Did he seem to be in his right mind?") expressed outrage. Some questioned the judge's integrity, and Gray conceded that his speaking out would probably keep him from being considered for future judicial appointments. But he had seen too much; he felt compelled to take a stand. And his war on the war on drugs continues: The judge has now issued a "judicial...