While Nina Graves was obtaining her AA in Criminal Justice (which she received in 1978), she noted that each year more and more money was being spent on America's prohibitionism, but that it seemed to result only in addicts shifting from one drug to another. She also saw how the target was always users and street-level dealers - something that had no affect on the larger problem. In 1979, she began in law enforcement as a military police officer, serving three years in military police units in Germany, then nine years as an Army reservist in Bakersfield, CA. In 1986 - by which time she had earned a BA in Law and Society - Nina became a police officer working for the federal government, where she continued to see prohibitionism as yielding nothing more than what she calls "the revolving arrests of drug offenders." Eventually her career would take her east as she wound her way up the ranks, becoming an assistant police chief in Florida, then eventually arriving at her current position of inspector for field operations in Washington, DC. All the while, the more experience Nina accrued, the greater her surety just how ineffective the "War on Drugs" has been. "The government keeps telling the American people that 'we are getting somewhere,'" she points out, "but the 'war' continues to shift from one supposed drug crisis to another."
Nina's combination of theoretical and hands-on legal and law-enforcement experience has given her great insight on the "War on Drugs" and exactly how it has failed the American people. "I have seen what the system has not done to correct the drug problem," she relates. "It has only shifted the blame and increased corruption." Nina learned of LEAP while conducting research for her dissertation, "Congressional Awareness of Corporations' Role in the Illegal Drugs Industry: a Qualitative Study," and quickly decided to join. "I hope to raise the level of awareness of the American people regarding the truth about the 'War on Drugs,'" she reports, "and to organize campaigns that will force Congress to revisit its position of continuing to fund current drug policies and acknowledge that changes need to occur." Some of her many reasons for opposing the "War on Drugs" are "its economic costs to the taxpayer and the deficit, its failure to address/treat the underlying causes of drug abuse and its overall impact on generations of families."
Washington, DC, USA