Drug War

Milwaukee Needs Marijuana Reform

Marijuana legalization is sometimes treated as a topic to be easily dismissed, laughed off, or delegitimize. Sure journalists, writers and script reciters amongst them, love their pot puns and refer ribs– but reform is real talk. As Colorado demonstrates, regulation and taxation is much more than a teenage fancy. This saves lives, including ones which go no where near the herb, and in more ways than one. Let this piece function as a call to Wisconsin’s governor, and suggest to him a way to rejuvenate a dying city.

Via Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: This Is Why Milwaukee Needs Marijuana Reform Now! @ Cop Block.

Minnesota Scales Back the Drug War

State leaders have signed off on a plan, years in the making, to reduce the time spent behind bars for first-time drug offenders and better distinguish addicts from potentially violent drug dealers.The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission voted 7-3 to overhaul the state’s drug sentencing guidelines, reducing recommended prison sentences for first-time offenders convicted of first-degree drug possession from seven to four years, and sentences for first-degree drug sale from seven to five years.The commission also changed presumptive prison sentences in second-degree sale and possession cases to probation.

Via Minn. Sentencing Guidelines Commission signs off on drug sentencing reform @ StarTribune.com.

Legalization Approaches

In 2016, recreational marijuana reform may be on the ballot in nearly a dozen states and Sullum is optimistic. With support for recreational marijuana polling at a record-high 58 percent, it’s only a question of how many states legalize in next year’s elections.

Sullum believes that California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, is the best bet for passage and the most influential state in play….

Via Recreational Pot Will Be Legal Just About Everywhere Soon @ Reason.com.

No One

No one should go to prison for drug possession. We don’t jail people for drinking alcohol, even if they become alcoholics. Further, no one should bear the lifelong consequences of a felony record for drug possession. Felony records erect unnecessary barriers to housing, education, and employment, which are all essentials for stability, and stability is essential to recovery. Home, school, and work all build community. And connection with community is the antidote to the isolation of addiction.

Via Smart Justice Is Fair Justice @ ACLU.

Overuse of Federal sentencing enhancements against black defendants

“Data also indicate that mandatory minimums and enhancements like the 851 have been disproportionately used against black defendants. While research shows that illicit drug use and distribution is generally proportionate to the racial makeup of the nation’s population, black people are overrepresented as drug defendants in federal courts, constituting 30 percent of all those sentenced…

Manipulated and Coerced to His Death Over an $80 Buy

All across America, young people are ensnared in drug investigations, and placed in danger as confidential informants to escape decades-long drug sentences for nothing more small buys. It’s not always a case of mere risk – sometimes they’re killed over these state-coerced deals: Last week North Dakota’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) released a report…

California Voters Scale Back the Drug War, Saving Taxpayers Hundreds of Millions

America’s moving toward a combination of marijuana legalization and Drug War de-escalation, assuring a new, lawful business market and taxpayer savings on prisons: California approved a major shift against mass incarceration on Tuesday in a vote that could lead to the release of thousands of state prisoners. Nonviolent felonies like shoplifting and drug possession will…