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.

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 Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office 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…

Washington’s Marijuana Law Is Part of Reforming the Criminal Justice System

Washington’s Marijuana Law Is Part of Reforming the Criminal Justice System

By Mark Cooke, ACLU of Washington & Doug Honig, ACLU of Washington at 4:14pm

Voters in Washington state, along with those in Colorado, made history on Election Day by passing laws that legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over. Washington's law, Initiative 502 (I-502), passed with an 11-point margin, sending…

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…

The House I Live In: Documentary Goes Inside the Failed War on Drugs

The House I Live In: Documentary Goes Inside the Failed War on Drugs

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:33pm

In 1971, Richard Nixon declared a war, couched in terms that suggested that the onslaught of attacks would target and eliminate the presence of drugs in our country. But the so-called War on Drugs, it turned out, was given a deceiving title. Nixon…

What if Wisconsin Arrested Half as Many People for Marijuana Possession?

What if Wisconsin Arrested Half as Many People for Marijuana Possession?

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm

Wisconsin and Minnesota are very similar states with very different approaches to marijuana possession. The two states have roughly the same number of people and similar demographics, but Wisconsin arrests twice as many people for marijuana possession. Which…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:27pm

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 barsour imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history.

In the Race for Sensible Drug Policy, U.S. Snoozes on the Sidelines

In the Race for Sensible Drug Policy, U.S. Snoozes on the Sidelines

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 11:47am

Olympics season is upon us, and there’s no shortage of news in which the United States is heralded as the global frontrunner. Beyond athletics, America tends to pride itself on being innovative and forward-thinking on many issues of law and…

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