What changes have come about since our #EndMassIncarceration petition? Well, there's been about 20 developments and victories in the way of criminal justice reform (not including changes at the state/local level), at least 6 of which that are having or will have measurable impact.
The international drug control regime is broken. Past approaches premised on a punitive law enforcement paradigm have failed, emphatically so. They have resulted in more violence, larger prison populations, and the erosion of governance around the world. The health harms associated with drug use have gotten worse, not better. The Global Commission on Drug Policy instead advocates for an approach to drug policy that puts public health, community safety, human rights, and development at the center. I have listed the five pathways to ending the drug war recommended by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that I chair. (Other members of the commission, ranging from Kofi Annan to Paul Volcker to former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo are listed after the recommendations.)
At the core of all of this is an ignominious reality at odds with one of the nation's most (publicly) cherished ideals, and one of our Constitution's most sacred laws: the Fourteenth Amendment right to "equal protection of the laws."
There is no one above, and no one below. There are wrong actions, not wrong people. There are dangerous risks, not dangerous souls. From now on, there is no one above, and no one below me. From now on, I view each of you, each of us, as human.
Free-trade laws do not hold corporations accountable for negative local impacts, but people are suffering because of CAFTA-DR. The apparel industry, which has profited above all other sectors, has a moral duty to respond.
The Chinese government has launched a sweeping crackdown on drugs this year, including random drug testing in bars and aimed particularly at the entertainment industry. In the past couple of months, 11 celebrities have been detained by police.
Just look at the facts, and it becomes clear that America's egregious rates of incarceration of blacks and Latinos stem from the enforcement of unfair sentencing laws -- laws that are grounded in racist policy, and that are desperately in need of reform.
Aggressively punitive and extreme drug policies are steeped in racism. Inherent in the response to drug law enforcement is a biased approach and stark double standards in the perceived threat of drug use by marginalized people.
The Los Angeles Police Department pioneered a high school drug bust operation in the 1970s. Under review in 2004, there was found to be no evidence that the program reduced drugs on school grounds, but there was found to be an increase of arrests in special needs students.
Until we alter our drug strategy, we can expect more murder and mayhem south of our border -- and greater numbers of immigrants fleeing north for safety.
In Tennessee, 26-year-old Mallory Loyola, a meth addict, recently became the first person arrested under a new state law that classifies taking illegal drugs while pregnant as an assault. Instead of recovering from childbirth and receiving proper medical care, Loyola was hauled off to jail.
It should be possible to say that we should continue with the movement toward the decriminalization of marijuana. And we should also be able to say that as we decriminalize, we should take every step possible to minimize the harm, since there is scientific evidence of the dangers of pot on adolescents and young adults.
I first came to Mexico to visit my college girlfriend in the summer of 1984, and over the past three decades have returned numerous times to visit relatives, conduct research and travel throughout this beautiful country.
Since October 2013, over 50,000 children from Central America have crossed the U.S.-Mexican border. The central cause of this escalating humanitarian crisis is the U.S.-led drug war, but public awareness of this link is disturbingly low.
Whether a person is in "your" country legally or not, whether a person is living in occupied territory or settled land, whether a person is from Asia or from Europe -- people are people with no exceptions.
Perhaps the terrible truth of drug war violence will finally be addressed as all of America bore witness this summer to the horror of some 52,000 unaccompanied children who were fleeing devastating violence that had erupted in Central America.