Tag Archives | drug war

Cops Around the Country Quietly Begin Rebelling Against the Drug War

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(ANTIMEDIA) It is a rare occurrence when police officers in America organize to undermine the very Drug War they vociferously fight for politicians. Police Chief Leonard Campanello of the Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Department, however, did just that earlier this year when he decided to treat — not arrest — heroin addicts who came to his department seeking help. His revolutionary “ANGEL” program has proven successful for addicts and their families in Gloucester, but it has also inspired other departments across the country to adopt similar programsamid growing officer fatigue over the ineffectual arrest and incarceration of addicts.

In May, Campanello announced via Facebook that his department would adopt the new policy of treatment over arrest (note: it does not apply to individuals caught in possession of drugs who do not turn themselves in). The move was met with widespread praise and the new policy was officially enacted in June.… Read the rest

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Here’s how much Americans hate mandatory minimum sentences

77% of Americans say that “mandatory minimum prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders should be eliminated so that judges can make sentencing decisions on a case-by-case basis.”

Christopher Ingraham via The Washington Post:

Leading Senators appear to have reached agreement on a criminal justice reform package that will likely include some changes to how mandatory minimum sentences are applied to drug offenders.

But even if it gets passed, the changes will not completely eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. And that’s likely to be a disappointment to the overwhelming majority of Americans — 77 percent — who say that “mandatory minimum prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders should be eliminated so that judges can make sentencing decisions on a case-by-case basis.”

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Drug War’s End: Oregon Is Expunging Pot Records

Canada / Cannabis Day, Marijuana Party 2014 @ Art Gallery
Hopefully other states start following suit.

David Downs via East Bay Express:

Oregon has taken the lead in righting some of the wrongs of the War on Weed. On Monday, The New York Times reported on Oregon’s leadership in expunging marijuana violations from citizens’ records.

Even simple pot tickets can haunt someone for the rest of his or her life, sabotaging job hiring and other milestones. So Portland’s Metropolitan Public Defender’s office is running “expungement clinics” to forever seal records of past pot crimes.

TheTimes interviewed a 43-year-old mother dogged by a pot ticket from her twenties. She handed a bong to a cop more than two decades ago, and it has disqualified her for jobs and she couldn’t volunteer at her kid’s school. Now, no one will see that conviction ever again.

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What I learned about the Internet after 25 years in prison

Old computer / New computer
Michael Santos was incarcerated from August 11, 1987 to August 13, 2012 for his role in the distribution of cocaine. While in prison he made a personal three-part plan:

1. I would work to educate myself,
2. I would work to contribute to society, and
3. I would work to build a support network that would have a vested interest in my success upon release.

He now spends his time writing about his knowledge of the federal prison system. Here’s his latest essay at Kernel Magazine, “What I learned about the Internet after 25 years in prison.”

The Internet did not exist when I began serving my prison sentence in 1987. I didn’t have direct access to the Internet as it became mainstream for many Americans through the “You’ve got mail!” craze of the ’90s. Years would pass, until my release from prison in 2012, before I’d be able to experience the Internet firsthand.

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Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

Johann Hari is the author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.


One of my earliest memories is of trying to wake up one of my relatives and not being able to. And I was just a little kid, so I didn’t really understand why, but as I got older, I realized we had drug addiction in my family, including later cocaine addiction.

I’d been thinking about it a lot lately, partly because it’s now exactly 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States and Britain, and we then imposed that on the rest of the world. It’s a century since we made this really fateful decision to take addicts and punish them and make them suffer, because we believed that would deter them; it would give them an incentive to stop.

And a few years ago, I was looking at some of the addicts in my life who I love, and trying to figure out if there was some way to help them.Read the rest

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If We Fought Cancer Like The War on Drugs

The war on drugs has been an abysmal failure since it’s half-witted inception.

It is based on many faulty assumptions, not least of which is the ridiculous idea that treating normal people who happen to use drugs like criminals will somehow help them stop using drugs. When we apply this same logic to fighting a ‘War on Cancer’, we see how utterly senseless and vile it really is.

This video is a much needed comedic ‘wake-up call’ to everyone who doesn’t get that attacking drug users (or cancer victims) is a bad way of doing anything.

If you enjoyed that video, please take the time to listen to the full length podcasts SRSLY WRONG 48 – DRUG WARS EPISODE IV: THERE’S NO HOPE and SRSLY WRONG 49 – DRUG WARS V: WHITE SUPREMACY STRIKES BACK.

So, when you’re going out into the world today, we want you to remember just a few things:
– The drug war has been a massive, 40 year failure.… Read the rest

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President Obama Grants Clemency to 22 Drug Offenders

President Obama told the Huffington Post in a recent interview, pictured here, that he plans to use his pardon and clemency powers "more aggressively," with particular focus on cases that represent "the broader issues that we face, particularly around nonviolent drug offenses." (Image via Huffington Post)

President Obama told the Huffington Post in a recent interview, pictured here, that he plans to use his pardon and clemency powers “more aggressively,” with particular focus on cases that represent “the broader issues that we face, particularly around nonviolent drug offenses.” (Image via Huffington Post)

This was originally published on Common Dreams. Read more of Lauren’s posts here.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday granted clemency to 22 individuals serving “outdated” drug sentences.

“Had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement. “Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years—in some cases more than a decade—longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime.”

The detainees were each imprisoned for intent to distribute an illegal drug. Eight of the individuals carried lifetime sentences.

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World Leaders Call For End of Criminalization of Drug Use

drugwarToday in New York City, the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland join with Kofi Annan and others to call for the end of drug criminalization. They are also calling for legal and regulated use of psychoactive substances. This press conference is being held at 9:45 AM by the Global Commission on Drug Policy:

Via Drug Policy Alliance:

Today, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City. The event will be live-streamed and speakers include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.

The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.

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