With his message, Major Franklin highlights the endless costs of the war on drugs, which is really a war on people, specifically African-Americans, in our country. I attribute my career, spent entirely as a public defender in Baltimore City, to the war. Besides handling drug cases, I have to contend with irreversible criminal records, a lack of alternative sentencing options, a dearth of mental health and drug treatment programs, mass incarceration, and poverty with all of my work. Most of this can be traced to drug policies which came into play in the early 1970s and are still around today. I often feel like a field medic roaming the battlefield, dressing wounds, and occasionally saving lives. I have become an indispensable part of the machine—a cost.