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Alfred Jay Gordon

10 Years - Cocaine Conspiracy

My name is Jay. I am a POW of our country's drug war and was a cocaine addict. I was arrested for selling 7 grams of cocaine to a so-called friend. I was charged with conspiracy and possession with intent. I plead guilty to possession with intent and thought the conspiracy would be dropped. I didn't understand about conspiracy. I was told that I didn't want to be charged with it and that possession with intent on 7 grams would give me a 2 year sentence at the most.

I was very wrong. My PSI (pre-sentencing report) came back with 12 Kilos and a sentence of 10 years. It was the biggest shock of my life!

I began to fight that PSI and after 7 months it was down to not less that 2, but not more than 2 Kilos. My lawyer told me it was the best he could do.

I am now serving 70 months for selling 7 grams. A man was arrested in a related case, and the government used his statement against me. In return for his statement against me - he got a year.

When I started using cocaine again about 2 years before I was arrested, I would buy a gram on a Friday night. Well, now and then friends would ask me to get some for them. I found that the more my friends would buy, the more that I could. My life began to fall apart.

I lost my job and my bills began to pile up. I was 9 months behind on everything when I was arrested.

I was so deep into my addiction that I couldn't see what I had become. I know one thing though - I was no big-time dealer. I was an addict.

Now I am working very hard to understand addiction and would like to become a drug counselor. I've leaned so much on the powerlessness of people when they are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The field that I would one day like to enter is prevention. I don't believe the war on drugs is working. In the 1998 strategy on the drug war, President Clinton said something like this: "We need to practice patience and compassion when dealing with people caught in the grip of drugs."

Well, I don't know about anyone out there, but I saw no compassion in my case.

Our country needs to build rehabilitation centers, not prisons. We have enough prisons for violent criminals. We need to help people that are addicted. We should take a closer look - are we locking up real criminals or a lot of sick and powerless people.

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