At this point, it's well established at that the War on Drugs has failed: its policies disproportionately target minorities, it has contributed to mass incarceration, and it has done little actually reduce drug use. It's time to change this country's attitude towards drug users.
There is a crisis that demands our urgent attention. For the last four decades, this country has been obsessed with expanding the number of people we throw behind bars and the length of time we hold them there.
President Obama encouraged the likes of the young men of color staged behind him last week at the White House to turn adversity into advantage.
It was sad for me to see that the drug problem in Santa Cruz has reached a point where good people are so upset that they were pushing for backward policies that would not help people struggling with addiction or the Santa Cruz community as a whole.
Threatening people who consume marijuana in public with arrest and a 60 day jail sentence will not deter this behavior. It will only perpetuate the harms that we have seen from failed drug war policies.
It is astonishing to me that people still view heroin abuse and drug addiction as a "Hollywood problem" and that -- despite the overwhelming data -- everyone still refuses to believe that overdoses are occurring daily in our own backyards.
Developing countries have high crime levels, which in turn derail further development. A few initiatives are successfully reducing crime and violence in cities such as Bangalore, Cairo, São Paulo, and Mexico City.
Think about this: The vast majority of prisoners get out eventually, having paid their penalty, and most emerge with no job, little or no savings, and possibly even no home.
The world is celebrating. But is this really cause for celebration? A meta-analysis of 306 studies found that analogous to the case of alcohol prohibition in the United States, strict enforcement of drug policies in Latin America has only increased violence and organized crime.
What if someone offered you this deal: Do business with me, and I promise to kidnap, torture and murder people. I'll help spread corruption and drug ...
Did you ever stop to think about the never ending War on Drugs? It's been going on for decades, sucking up billions of dollars and accounting for much of the prison population. And yet, anthropologists will tell you that virtually all societies regularly use some sort of drug.
Private prisons have been marketed as the necessary supplement to save taxpayer dollars. It is a system designed by the rich and for the rich. A system that clearly relies on the incarceration of African American and Latino people for its survival.
For those of us who consider criminal justice reform to be one of the leading civil rights issues of our time, these are hopeful signs that we might be entering a new era. We are no longer turning a blind eye to the damage being done to our communities.
The Obama administration just said yes to banking for marijuana businesses in cannabis-legal states.
Our state of affairs goes against a pinnacle of American justice, equality before law, facilitating everything from war crimes, to torture, to domestic spying, to a predatory, ravenous Wall Street that feeds on the middle class with impunity.
Here are seven significant moves by President Obama and AG Holder over the last six months that have garnished them extensive praise and admiration.