File this under good news: Obama has granted freedom to dozens of nonviolent drug offenders. This is only a small step for good in our ridiculous drug war. Why dozens should be freed when untold numbers are being punished is a good question, but lets hope this is a beginning and not an end. Not only are the punishments for nonviolent drug offenses often absurd, but the aftermath is even more troubling. One time I was arrested for a DUI, which was thrown out of court it was so laughable. (I passed my breathalyzer and blood test. I was stupid enough to admit honestly to police that I had two drinks earlier in the night. Rule one when confronting police, as told to me by my lawyer, is never never be honest. You will never face stiffer penalties for not admitting to something, but you can very well face trouble for admitting to something.) I was still turned down for an education job that I applied for on the basis of that arrest, before I started making my living in the music business, despite doing nothing illegal. I can only imagine the trouble that nonviolent offenders of drug laws face when trying to find meaningful employment. There is a Morrissey quote that goes: “Life is hard enough when you belong here.” Life is hard enough in general even when you don’t have this kind of burden following you around, as most people not born with a silver spoon in their mouth can attest to. Even for those born with all advantages, life is no picnic. To live is partly to suffer. These people are our neighbors, our family, our brothers and sisters in the human race. We should not only not impose draconian sentences on people that have done nothing violent, but should give them a real chance at rebuilding their lives.