By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
There are, of course, many truths woven into Ralston's tale: Our drug laws are reactionary, and the attempts to prosecute those who violate them are fruitless and harsh, particularly if the goal is to prevent drug use. Today, teenagers can shell out $20 and trip on ecstasy all night long if they want, and no cop or prosecutor can stop it.
Although Strauss says his office disagrees with Clinton's decision, he concedes that the nine years Ralston served was substantial. Still, the case leaves him troubled.
"There was a time, some years ago, when maybe society didn't consider wives and girlfriends responsible for their actions. Maybe we have gone past that point, I don't know," says Strauss, who adds, "this case has consumed a number of hours of my life that are now meaningless."
In the end, Ralston says, nothing will change until people start being honest about drugs.
"A lot of people go through this door where they completely disassociate themselves from our past," she says. "They don't want to admit they did drugs. That's fine, you don't have to admit it, but we're really a bunch of hypocrites. Everybody's been exposed to it, one way or another, and we're all pretending."
The problem is, so is Ralston.