“The war on drugs is such a dismal failure that prohibition
cannot even stop the flow of drugs into a high-security state prison."
Madeline Martinez spent nine years working for the California Department of Corrections. She served as a correctional peace officer at the California Institution for Women (CIW), a female-only state prison located in Chino, CA.
During her tenure at CIW, Madeline quickly saw that even high security could not keep drugs out. “I often noticed the smell of marijuana wafting through the halls of the housing units,” Madeline says. “The war on drugs is such a dismal failure that prohibition cannot even stop the flow of drugs into a high-security state prison. The high demand is so consistent that there will always be some amount of corruption. How can anyone truly expect to have a drug-free society?”
Madeline also witnessed the number of the residents at the institution grow at an accelerating pace, largely due to the drug war. “Overcrowded prisons are dangerous to the inmates as well as staff,” Madeline says.
Madeline is now a leader in Oregon’s marijuana movement . She is a member of NORML’s Board of Directors as well as NORML’s Pauline Sabin Winner in 2007. She is currently working on legislation to remove all civil and criminal penalties surrounding cannabis use for adults with Sensible Oregon. “My goal is to inspire all states to push for similar legislation and create a ‘sensible America’,” she says.
Madeline is a grandmother of six and resides in Portland, Oregon. She
is the sole proprietor of the Cannabis Café which opened in 2009.