In 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the disparity in sentences for crack vs powder cocaine from 100-1 to 18-1. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the new sentencing guidelines applied to cases where the defendant had been convicted before that law was passed but not yet …
Category Archive: Drug Legalization
May 22 2013
May 14 2013
Here’s a fact that may come as a real shock to people, especially given the massive disparity in the number of arrests, convictions and prison terms for drugs — black people are actually less likely to use and abuse drugs than white people. Another new study confirms that.
May 09 2013
One of President Obama’s most obvious broken promises has been on the issue of federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states where medical marijuana is legal. Despite saying repeatedly that he would shift resources against such enforcement, prosecutions have actually increased. And now there’s a new crackdown making it even worse.
May 01 2013
Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, one of the loudest and dumbest conservatives in the country, thinks he’s finally figured out why Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed terrorism: He smoked pot, a “mind-altering substance that can play a role in creating communist or Islamic terrorists.”
Apr 08 2013
Harry Levine, a Queens College sociology professor who calls this country’s massive law enforcement spending and incarceration rates for marijuana a national disgrace, does an interview with New Inquiry and explains why there are so many such arrests.
Mar 27 2013
Like his father, Rand Paul can be maddening. Sometimes he sounds like a complete lunatic and other times he’s not only on the right side but is virtually alone in Congress in taking the right stand. That’s why ThinkProgress says that Democrats should be saying the things he’s saying about the disastrous war on drugs:
Feb 28 2013
This past weekend was the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in Washington, DC, and a theoretical physicist from Cal Tech gave a talk in which he laid out the many ways that the federal government impedes scientific research into the potential medical benefits of marijuana and then uses that lack of research to justify continued …
Dec 24 2012
Conor Friedersdorf has a bone to pick with David Frum, one of his fellow voices of relative sanity among conservatives, on the question of the war on drugs and its clearly disproportionate effect on the poor and minorities. Frum is confused by those who are concerned about inequality but want drugs legalized:
Dec 12 2012
On election day, voters in the state of Washington legalized marijuana use and gay marriage, prompting Jen McCreight to assume she was going to wake up the next day to find a haze of pot smoke and glitter. Others, especially the Christian right types, are beside themselves about it. Including the Discovery Institute’s David DeWolf:
Dec 11 2012
Civil libertarians like me, already angry and disappointed over the Obama administration’s many broken promises when it comes to the drug war, are likely to be irritated even more now that two states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. It seems the administration is preparing for a federal crackdown on pot users in those …
Nov 13 2012
This is very cool news. After the state of Washington passed a referendum last week to decriminalize marijuana, two county prosecutors have dropped charges against more than 200 people who were facing misdemeanor marijuana possession charges.
Oct 31 2012
One of the most damaging aspects of our perpetually destructive war on drugs is the invention of mandatory minimum sentences. The laws that created them were passed by politicians seeking to present themselves as tough on drugs and tough on crime but they are doing enormous damage to individuals and to society. A sitting federal …
Sep 25 2012
My friend Juliet has finally written up a very long story of a situation that has been going on for a few months now. It involves many of the things I’ve long been writing about — the abuses of the war on drugs, the use of SWAT teams for no good reason, our dehumanizing criminal …
Sep 20 2012
Andrew Sullivan links to polling that shows strong support for legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington, where referendums on the question are on the ballot in November. In Colorado, just over 50% of likely voters say they’ll vote for the bill:
Sep 09 2012
I don’t know what Kal Penn, an actor I genuinely like, has been smoking — okay, I do know — but he might want to put down the bong before answering questions from a reporter about Obama’s record on medical marijuana. That record is terrible and a clear betrayal of his campaign promises, but Penn …