War on Drugs

June 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war which has cost $1 trillion but produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs. The war on drugs has been a war on communities of color. The racial disparities are staggering: despite the fact that whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than African-Americans, African-Americans are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate that is 10 times greater than that of whites. The ACLU is advocating for a more responsible drug policy in America. It’s time to end the unjust and unsuccessful war on drugs.

Drug Agents Have an NSA-Style Spying Problem

Drug Agents Have an NSA-Style Spying Problem

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:58pm
Over the last few months, we've been bombarded with revelation after revelation about the NSA's unprecedented spying on Americans. But, according to The New York Times, the NSA's untethered snooping is eclipsed by the agents fighting in a war that began long before 9/11: the costly and failed War on Drugs.
What Could Stop Eric Holder from Rolling Back the War on Drugs? A US Attorney Fresh out of "Purple Drank"

What Could Stop Eric Holder from Rolling Back the War on Drugs? A US Attorney Fresh out of "Purple Drank"

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:58pm

Remember two days ago when Attorney General Eric Holder gave a major, televised speech calling out the US for throwing too many people behind bars? Remember how he questioned the War on Drugs and criticized the racial disparities that plague the criminal…

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 2:10pm

Attorney General Eric Holder just called mass incarceration a moral and economic failure. He just outlined several major proposals that he says will help to ease major overcrowding in federal prisons. And he just suggested that federal prosecutors…

The Director of "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" on Ending an Embarrassingly Racist War

The Director of "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" on Ending an Embarrassingly Racist War

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:58pm

Matthew Cooke's new film "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" breaks down the War on Drugs...

Supreme Court Makes the Right Call: "Social Sharing" of Marijuana Not an Aggravated Felony Under Immigration Laws

Supreme Court Makes the Right Call: "Social Sharing" of Marijuana Not an Aggravated Felony Under Immigration Laws

By Molly Lauterback, Immigrants' Rights Project & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:53pm

In a 7-2 decision this week, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the "social sharing of a small amount...

As The "Drug Testing Dragnet" Widens, The Poor Continue to be Swept In

As The "Drug Testing Dragnet" Widens, The Poor Continue to be Swept In

By Jason Williamson & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:05pm

Heads up: mandatory, suspicionless drug testing is not just about violating your Fourth Amendment rights anymore...

The Marijuana Fight Comes to Congress (Again)

The Marijuana Fight Comes to Congress (Again)

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 5:03pm

Washington and Colorado made big news on Election Day last year when residents voted to legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana – could the federal government be next? Last week, two bills were introduced in the House of Representatives…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:56pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

The Incomplete Story Told by California’s Declining Juvenile Arrest Rates

The Incomplete Story Told by California’s Declining Juvenile Arrest Rates

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:20pm

A recent study from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) demonstrates that decriminalization of marijuana can actually improve our children’s futures while saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

In 2011, Senate Bill 1449…

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