We who work in the field have known and railed against this unfair scenario for many years but what is different now are the incremental changes we are seeing in government attitudes that I believe are partly being driven by a growing change in attitude in the general community.
The end of June is an important time on the political calendar, but it is one which most Americans don't really think about all that much. It's hard to fault this, so let's take a quick run through the important decisions handed down in the past week.
Campaigners for legalizing marijuana for medical dedications in Ohio believe they've successfully gathered more than enough signatures that are required in order to have their measure placed on November's ballot.
Florida's House of Representatives hasn't committed to hear the bill as of yet, but Senator Rob Bradley has said that he was certain that the legislation would indeed be heard and possibly modified, then sent back to the Senate chambers.
On Thursday, United States Attorney General Eric Holder appeared in front of the United States Sentencing Commission to endorse a proposal that would reduce prison sentences for people convicted of dealing drugs.
If the bill successfully traverses the gauntlet of legislative scrutiny, those caught in possession of 28 grams of marijuana or less will be subjected to a $25 civil fine as well as having to forfeit the marijuana and any paraphernalia used to consume or carry it.
If our elected officials really cared about reducing drug use and sending the right message to youth, they would abandon our failed experiment with prohibition -- and decriminalizing marijuana in the nation's capital is a big step in the right direction.
My son who was an innocent victim of drug prohibition violence. Armed with the knowledge that people and communities of color have borne the brunt of our nation's drug war, we rebranded MATV to be a clear and strong voice for drug policy reform.