05/07/2013 04:12 pm ET Updated Jul 06, 2013

Land of the Free? Not for Everybody

America prides itself on being number one. Apparently America now jails 2.2 million people. So, with just 5 percent of the world's population, we boast 25 percent of its prisoners. America is the number one jailer in the world.

In 2011 almost half of all prisoners were incarcerated for drug offenses. That's a stunning statistic, especially when you connect it with a recent poll that determined only 7 percent of Americans feel that the government is winning it's war on drugs.

If prison isn't working, what will? How about asking this question: "If so many people are using drugs, what's wrong with reality?" Locking up drug users doesn't address this question.

Reality just ain't what it used to be, back when everything looked rosy over the near horizon. Remember when futurists predicted that society's biggest problem would soon be figuring out what to do with all our leisure time? Now that the future is here that seems laughable, except it's no joke. Americans work harder than ever just to not drown. No wonder so many escape into drugs.

How about waking up instead? The American Dream has turned into a nightmare for many, but it always was just a dream. Let's wake up and see what the real reality might be like. Those who have tell us that it doesn't involve the pursuit of happiness, since the awake reality they experience includes happiness as an inherent quality.

We might draw some inspiration from that old Joni Mitchell song, "Cactus Tree," where she described what we would probably all rather be doing: "She's so busy being free."

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