There aren't any politicians — Democrat or Republican — willing to speak truth on this. Instead, politicians compete to prove themselves more draconian than thou, to embrace America's most profound and enduring policy failure.
If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun's manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war.
Of course, in order for the citizenry to have the chance to utilize their right of such protest these drug cases would have to reach a jury in the first place. Many do not. Most cases are plea bargained between overworked public defenders and statistics hungry prosecutors. Too bad.
NPR has an interview with Dennis Lehane about the opinion piece.