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.

"Tough on Crime" No Longer the American Mantra?

"Tough on Crime" No Longer the American Mantra?

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:35pm
Politicians over the last quarter-century have held strong to the conventional wisdom that being "tough on crime" will win elections and appease the public's appetite for safety. And for the most part, it seems Americans did feel this way (if you don't think so, just ask Michael Dukakis). To alleviate the public's overblown fear, or even to slake a thirst for retribution, our lawmakers have repeatedly deemed more private acts criminal and doled out harsher punishments for a generation. They selectively enforced these laws against the "feared" Black and brown communities, and in the end gave us a massive, unsustainable prison population unlike anything the world has ever seen.
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...

In New York, A Rogue Wave Of Criminal Injustice

In New York, A Rogue Wave Of Criminal Injustice

By Taylor Pendergrass, Senior Staff Attorney , NYCLU at 12:54pm

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…

A Glimmer of Hope in Texas' Approach to the War on Drugs

A Glimmer of Hope in Texas' Approach to the War on Drugs

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 12:43pm

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…

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…

Data Mining License Plate Records

Data Mining License Plate Records

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:09am

On Friday I posted about an ongoing effort by the DEA to put automatic license plate reading (ALPR) devices on public interstates, where they will sweep up records of Americans’ travel and store it for two years. The agency is now pushing to…

This Week in Civil Liberties (5/18/12)

This Week in Civil Liberties (5/18/12)

By Rekha Arulanantham, ACLU at 3:22pm

Which law could be used to restrict the right to protest at next week’s NATO summit?

Which government watch list can you get on but are entirely at the government’s mercy if you want to get off?

A lawmaker from which state…

Is Ending Mass Incarceration a Christian Imperative?

Is Ending Mass Incarceration a Christian Imperative?

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 11:02am

Christians such as Pat Robertson believe it is a moral imperative to address mass incarceration, especially in the face of stark racial disparities.

40 Years and Over 40 Million Arrests Later, War on Drugs Still Harming Our Communities

40 Years and Over 40 Million Arrests Later, War on Drugs Still Harming Our Communities

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 1:31pm

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…

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