When it comes to criminal justice reform, Attorney General Eric Holder -- who announced today he will soon resign -- waged a revolution from within. Taken individually some of his work seems incremental. Seen as a whole it's quite bold.
Instead of creating laws that sound good but in reality cause more harm, we should encourage laws that provide incentives for people to do the right thing. Want drug users to clean up their used syringes? Protect them from charges if the syringes are stored in a safe container.
The war on drugs is a cruel joke. The U.S. spends more than $50 billion a year on the "war on drugs" with the goal of creating a "drug-free society" -- yet there has never been a "drug-free society" in the history of civilization.
Of all the pro-legalization arguments, this could perhaps be the strongest one. The laws don't work.
The American Dream has always been defined by upward mobility, but for black Americans, it's harder to get into the middle class, and a middle-class lifestyle is more precarious.
I have been blown away to see how a committed group of leaders can have a global impact when it comes to the world's longest war: the war on drugs.
In seven weeks, voters across the country will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. In fact, there are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history.
E-cigarettes illustrate how harm reduction approaches to drug policy, particularly maintenance or substitution therapies, are at once both filled with promise and deeply misunderstood.
As we face the rugged terrain ahead, our marching orders must be the sobering words that speak presciently from the grave of the late Coretta Scott King: "Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation."
As we witness the drug and criminal justice policies of the "greatest democracy in the world" lag behind those of an ever expanding list of other countries around the world, more and more are coming down on the right side of history.
On one side of this discussion are those who are holding up the shooting of Michael Brown as an example of the racial inequality in this country and in the justice system in particular. On the other side of this discussion are those who see racism as a hoax to be disproved.
This move could result in the release of thousands of low-level federal inmates caught up in the drug war. For a president who, hitherto, had the most conservative pardon record in recent history (e.g. in Obama's first term, he pardoned 1 in 50 applicants, while Ronald Reagan pardoned 1 in 3), such a shift is noteworthy.
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.