Blog of Rights

Weekly Highlights: News from the War on Drugs

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:28pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s declaration of a “war on drugs” – a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United States, and has contributed to making America the world’s largest incarcerator. All month, we’ll have posts dedicated to the need end the war on drugs. Check back daily for posts about the drug war, its victims and what needs to be done to restore fairness and create effective policy.

Global war on drugs 'has failed', say former leaders
A new Global Commission on Drug Policy report is out, and its message is clear: not only is the war on drugs ineffective, drug policies in countries like the U.S. and Mexico are actually making the situation far worse.

Reduced Crack Sentences Should Be Applied Retroactively, Holder Says
Attorney General Eric Holder officially voiced his support for retroactive application of the Federal Sentencing Act at this week’s U.S. Sentencing Commission hearing in Washington.

Vermont to Federal Drug Warriors: Mind Your Own Business
Gov. Pete Shumlin has signed a bill to enact a law authorizing multiple dispensaries in Vermont to provide medical marijuana for their patients, despite the ominous warnings from the federal government that such a law will not protect the dispensaries from prosecution.

Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients, State Workers Ignites Debate In Florida
Florida’s recent passage of legislation that requires welfare recipients and new state employees to take drug tests is under heavy fire from the ACLU of Florida, among others.

Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida appears on Rachel Maddow
Howard Simon spoke with Rachel Maddow this week about the civil liberties crisis in Florida, noting the particularly egregious forced drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients.

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