"Force is not the only way to change behavior; education and example can
be powerful weapons."
Judge Jim Gray authored "Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed And What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs." It was the culmination of his experience as a former federal prosecutor, defense attorney and trial judge. Those experiences convinced him that our nation's program of drug prohibition was not simply a failure, but a hopeless failure.
"Drug Prohibition has resulted in a greater loss of civil liberties than
anything else in the history of our country," Judge Gray wrote. "The
United States of America leads the world in the incarceration of its
people, mostly for non-violent drug offenses. Statistics show that all
racial groups in our country use and abuse drugs at basically the same rate, but most of those incarcerated are people of color. The War on Drugs has contributed substantially to the increasing power,
bureaucracy, and intrusiveness of government. And, of course, the sale of illicit drugs is by far the largest source of funding for terrorists around the world. If we were truly serious about fighting terrorism we would kill the 'Golden Goose' of terrorism, which is Drug Prohibition."
Judge Gray served as a soldier in the "War on Drugs" for more than two decades. He was a staff judge advocate and criminal-defense attorney for the US Navy JAG Corps and he worked as a federal prosecutor for the US Attorney's office in Los Angeles.
In 1983, Judge Gray was appointed to the Santa Ana Municipal Court. In 1989, he was elevated to the Superior Court of Orange County, retiring on January 4, 2009.
He has concluded that helping to repeal drug prohibition is the best and most lasting gift he could make to his country. He knows that drugs are truly dangerous, but it is the drug money that is turning a disease into a plague.
Although Judge Gray has championed many causes, none has been bolder than his work to combat the illegal-drug problem in America. He continues to mobilize civic leaders, government officials, corporations, non-profit organizations, the media, and the public around the country to join him in exploring alternative solutions to reduce this chronic problem.