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.

How to Think About the National Security State

How to Think About the National Security State

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:00am
The United States has grown a gigantic national security state. According to one analyst, our overall annual security budget is now more than $1.2 trillion. And we now know that includes at least $75 billion for “intelligence.” In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations that the NSA has been operating well outside any reasonable reading of the statutes on which it relies, and outside any national consensus over the proper limits to domestic spying, what are we to make of this behemoth? How we think about our national security state is a very important question, not least because it suggests what direction we ought to take moving forward.
Fighting for "Too Much Justice"

Fighting for "Too Much Justice"

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 4:22pm

In the last 40 years, this country's "tough on crime" policymaking has sacrificed the lives and rights of people of color at the altar of politics.

The War on Drugs Tears Families Apart

The War on Drugs Tears Families Apart

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 5:30pm

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…

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...

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…

The War on Drugs and the Surveillance Society

The War on Drugs and the Surveillance Society

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:00pm

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…

Our Presidents Smoked It. Why Is It Still a Crime?

Our Presidents Smoked It. Why Is It Still a Crime?

By Lynda Garcia, Soros Fellow, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 10:50am

The cover of a recent issue of The Nation calling for marijuana legalization features President Obama with his high school buddies, known as the Choom Gang, who, allegedly, were very into smoking weed. And as The Nation points out, Obama has company—Presidents…

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…

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…

Pregnant Women Need Health Care, Not Jail Time

Pregnant Women Need Health Care, Not Jail Time

By Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 2:29pm

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…

Statistics image