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Redefining Citizenship Can End the War on Drugs

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True success can be attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing that you did everything within the limits of your ability to become the very best that you are capable of becoming...

It is impossible to attain perfection, but that should be the goal.   Less than 100 percent of your effort in every respect toward attaining your objective is not success...


Coach Wooden's meaning is clear in the context of a team.   But why should this team obligation be limited to sports?   Why shouldn't this obligation be the essence of all our social relationships?

If accepted, these ideas would mean that it must be the obligation of every citizen to strive for self-perfection -- just as it was the obligation of every team member under Coach Wooden's tutelage.   It means that this is what every citizen would be OBLIGATED TO GIVE to their fellow citizens as an essential feature of their citizenship: striving to be their best self.

The Expectations of Citizenship 

Conversely, each and every citizen should have a basic expectation of WHAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE from our nation.   A full description of such rights is a much deeper and complex discussion better left for another time.   However, there must be certain minimums.   On this point, my article entitled:   Plutocracy Ignores Purpose presents the following quote:

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ""Our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men." I assert that every single person has a purpose. No one is insignificant.

As such, each citizen has the right to expect his society to treat him or her as having inherent purpose and value.    No one should be treated as insignificant.  No one should be treated as a throwaway.

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Redefining Citizenship 

Such a redefinition of citizenship--as an obligation to strive to become your best coupled with an entitlement to have that effort supported--would end the war on drugs.   This ethic of significance would make such a war obsolete.

[1] The New Jim Crow at 97.

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[i] Professor Holly Hills, PHD 2008 National Drug Court Conference Presentation Materials

[ii] Reebye, Moretti, and Lessard 1995; Rounds-Bryant, Kristiansen and Hubbard, 1999.

[iii] Roberts and Corcoran, 2005.

[iv] See research National Association of Drug Court Professionals at:

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Eric Z. Lucas is an alumnus of Stanford University (Creative Writing Major: 1972-1975), the University of Washington (1981: BA English Literature and Elementary Education) and Harvard Law School, J.D. 1986. Since law school he has been a public (more...)

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