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.

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 States, and has contributed to making America the world's largest incarcerator. Throughout the month, check back daily for posts about the drug war, its victims and what needs to be done to restore fairness and create effective policy.
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.

Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:02pm

U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has his work cut out for him.  A revealing recent interview suggests he favors a more treatment-based approach to drug policy than his predecessors, but he has no illusions about the daunting task of de-stigmatizing…

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…

Free Future Friday links roundup

Free Future Friday links roundup

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:20am

A few links that have caught our eye this past week:

The Citynewswatch blog in Charlotte, NC has a nice post on that city’s new license plate reader program, among other surveillance systems (pity any city that hosts a major national…

DEA Recording Americans’ Movements on Highways, Creating Central Repository of Plate Data

DEA Recording Americans’ Movements on Highways, Creating Central Repository of Plate Data

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:58pm

The DEA wants to capture the license plates of all vehicles traveling along Interstate 15 in Utah, and store that data for two years at their facility in Northern Virginia. And, as a DEA official told Utah legislators at a hearing this week (attended…

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…

Should We Deny Ill People on Probation Access to Medicine?

Should We Deny Ill People on Probation Access to Medicine?

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:58pm

In 2000, Colorado voters approved an amendment to their state constitution that allows patients suffering from conditions like cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS to use medical marijuana when a doctor has advised them to do so. The amendment to the…

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.

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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