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.

Dice Raw

We Shouldn't Arrest One More Person for Having Marijuana

By Dice Raw, Grammy Award-Nominated Singer/Songwriter at 3:16pm
I had a homie who was arrested for having an ounce of weed that was just for his personal use. He had full custody of his four children and still did 8 long months. My friend hasn't been the same since, to be quite honest, and I just can't get over the fact that before he went into the system, he was funny, sensitive, and charismatic, and now, he's just different. 
We Must Stop Throwing People Away

We Must Stop Throwing People Away

By Harry Belafonte, Entertainer & Activist at 11:00am

There is a crisis that demands our urgent attention. For the last four decades, this country has been obsessed with expanding the number of people we throw behind bars and the length of time we hold them there. Crime rates have been falling for…

Criminalizing Drug Users Is Killing People

Criminalizing Drug Users Is Killing People

By Chloe Cockburn, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 5:09pm

21-year-old Alysa Ivy was surrounded by people when she died of a heroin overdose. Not one of them called 911 for help. Instead, they left her alone in a motel room, afraid they’d be arrested if they called the authorities.

Alysa’s death…

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

By Jason Williamson at 3:30pm

Remember that amazing Daily Show segment a couple years ago in which a correspondent asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to pee into a cup? Governor Scott was dead set on forcing some of the state's poorest, most vulnerable citizens to submit to humiliating…

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…

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 3:08pm

David Eckert was pulling out of a Wal-Mart parking lot when police officers pulled him over for failing to stop at a parking lot stop sign. Police ordered Eckert to step out of his vehicle, and that's when he committed the highly suspicious act of…

My 5-Year-Old's Seizures Were Finally Controlled by Medical Marijuana

My 5-Year-Old's Seizures Were Finally Controlled by Medical Marijuana

By Jennifer Welton, Zander's Mom at 8:16am

My five-year-old son Zander has had two brain surgeries. During each, doctors removed portions of his brain. The second surgery had a long recovery time because of the muscle loss that he suffered after being bedridden for weeks. It caused an infection…

10-Hour SWAT Raid of Organic Farm? Just Another Day in the War on Drugs.

10-Hour SWAT Raid of Organic Farm? Just Another Day in the War on Drugs.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice & Iman Boukadoum, ACLU at 2:07pm

A SWAT team spent ten hours raiding a small organic farm called The Garden of Eden in Arlington, Texas last month...

Is Your College Forcing Every Student to Urinate into a Cup?

Is Your College Forcing Every Student to Urinate into a Cup?

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU & Jason Williamson at 11:59am

Imagine you get into the college of your dreams. You save up for the books you need and some coveted dorm decorations. The welcome wagon that greets you on campus? A suspicionless drug test and a $50 fee for the hassle and embarrassment of urinating…

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…

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