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Bill Piper
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Bill Piper is director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance Network, the nation's leading organization advocating for alternatives to the war on drugs.

Entries by Bill Piper

New Drug Czar a Chance to Do Things Right

(9) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 3:18 PM

The Obama administration's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, was recently made director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Whether acting drug czar Michael Botticelli gets the job permanently or President Obama nominates someone new, the next drug czar should fight to undo the mass incarceration and racial disparities that are the...

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Biggest Overhaul in Federal Drug Sentencing in Decades Clears Major Hurdle, Despite Opposition From Heartless Prosecutors

(2) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 11:47 AM

Today the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan sentencing reform legislation that reduces the federal prison population, decreases racial disparities, saves taxpayer money, and reunites nonviolent drug law offenders with their families sooner. The reforms are supported by a strange bedfellows group of senators, including Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand...

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Congressmen Help Launch Drug War Exit Strategy Guide

(27) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 4:27 PM

On Thursday, the Drug Policy Alliance will release An Exit Strategy for the Failed War on Drugs. This comprehensive report contains 75 broad and incremental recommendations for legislative reforms related to civil rights, deficit reduction, law enforcement, foreign policy, sentencing and re-entry, effective drug treatment, public health,...

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"New" White House Drug Control Strategy: New Rhetoric, Same Failed Policies

(15) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 3:08 PM

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (more commonly known as the drug czar's office) released its 2012 National Drug Control Strategy today. The strategy is nearly identical to previous national drug strategies. While the rhetoric is new -- reflecting the fact that three-quarters of Americans...

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Medical Marijuana: A Science-Free Zone At The White House

(70) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 4:54 PM

President Obama came into office promising to reverse George W. Bush administration practices and elevate science over politics. He explicitly applied that principle to drug policy, an area long driven by ideology and prejudice. He quickly began to make good on the pledge by promoting three evidence-based drug policies: eliminating...

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Montel Williams Cited for Pipe at Airport: TSA Should Look for Bombs Not Bongs

(17) Comments | Posted January 5, 2011 | 12:09 PM

Medical marijuana activist and former talk show host Montel Williams was cited for possession of a marijuana pipe at the International Airport in Milwaukee yesterday. TSA employees found the pipe as he passed through a security checkpoint. He paid a $484 citation and was released. Of course, he easily could...

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Don't Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20 -- Take Action Against Marijuana Prohibition

(29) Comments | Posted April 13, 2010 | 11:20 AM

April 20th (4/20) has long been associated with marijuana, both marijuana use and marijuana activism. Thousands of Americans will gather on that day at rallies in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and other cities. For people who prefer to relax with a joint instead of a beer or...

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Obama's 2010 Drug Control Strategy

(9) Comments | Posted February 12, 2010 | 1:23 PM

President Obama's newly released drug war budget is essentially the same as Bush's, with roughly twice as much money going to the criminal justice system as to treatment and prevention. This is the case despite the fact that Obama said on the campaign trail drug use should be treated as...

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What if Gov. Palin Had Been Arrested for Marijuana?

(19) Comments | Posted September 9, 2008 | 6:04 PM

Sen. John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has admitted she smoked marijuana in the past, but says it's not an issue because it was legal under Alaska law. She says though, that marijuana should be illegal. So what she did should have been a crime. And she...

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Just Say No to Federal Funding For Drug War

(5) Comments | Posted June 18, 2008 | 3:07 PM

Congress has rubber stamped (yet again) the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, a federal law enforcement grant program that is feeding the war on drugs and fueling racial disparities, police corruption, and civil rights abuses. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today to renew the controversial but politically popular...

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Attorney General "Ignoring Reality" of Draconian Crack Laws

(7) Comments | Posted February 25, 2008 | 7:24 PM

If you're planning a children's party or some other event for which you need a magician, consider U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. He's a master of sleight-of-hand tricks. Under fire now because of the Department of Justice's position on "waterboarding," Mukasey has launched a national campaign to change the subject.

...
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Are Higher Cocaine Prices a Good Thing?

(12) Comments | Posted November 8, 2007 | 3:30 PM

Here we go again. President Bush's Drug Czar is claiming success in the war on drugs because cocaine prices are rising. Except two recent government reports say cocaine is still widely available; and higher cocaine prices means greater profits for organized crime and greater violence in our communities. So what...

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A New Bottom Line for the War on Drugs

(44) Comments | Posted May 4, 2007 | 11:15 AM

Now that two of the Atlanta police officers responsible for killing 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston have pled guilty to manslaughter, planting evidence and a cover-up, it is time for policymakers to change the policies that led to her death. Obvious reforms are requiring substantial evidence before a warrant to raid someone's...

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What is Congressman Mark Souder Smoking?

(13) Comments | Posted February 12, 2007 | 3:31 PM

What has Congressman Mark Souder been smoking? Rep. Souder (R-IN), the ranking Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees federal drug war policies, said last week that smoking marijuana is not that much different from doing lines of cocaine or smoking crack in terms of the dangers. He made the...

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Happy Meth Awareness Day

(21) Comments | Posted November 30, 2006 | 10:59 AM

President Bush has declared today National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. Although methamphetamine abuse and illegal meth labs have recently become subjects of intense national concern, state and federal policymakers have actually been grappling with both problems for more than 40 years (the first illegal U.S. meth lab was discovered in...

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