The Racist Nature of Marijuana Arrests

Surveys have long shown that black and white people use, buy and sell marijuana at pretty much identical levels, but the numbers of arrests, convictions and incarceration has long been wildly disparate. Adam Serwer published this chart that demonstrates this for the last few years: … [Read more...]

Seriously, This Must Stop

Here's another absolutely repulsive case of the government essentially committing sexual assault on someone on the suspicion that they have drugs in a bodily orifice. And all based on an "alert" from a drug-sniffing dog, which are wrong about 80% of the time. … [Read more...]

Columbia, SC Should Fire Their Police Chief

I suppose I should be accustomed to being routinely appalled by the thinking and behavior of law enforcement officials by now, but I find myself in a bit of shock over statements from Ruben Santiago, the Interim Police Chief in Columbia, South Carolina, on the agency's Facebook page. After taking criticism for a big pot bust, Santiago had this exchange with an advocate of legalization: … [Read more...]

Krokodil? Call It Reefer Madness 2: Electric Bugaloo

A couple weeks ago my Facebook news feed, like yours I imagine, exploded with dire warnings complete with horrifying pictures about the dangerous epidemic of krokodil, a cheap version of heroin that was supposedly sweeping the nation. My response was one big eye roll. Here we go again, I thought. And the Chicago Tribune reports what I assumed was the case: … [Read more...]

ALEC Goes Public With Opposition to Mandatory Minimums

The American Legislative Exchange Council, which has been responsible for pushing some of the most appalling legislation in the country, is at least getting it right when it comes to mandatory minimum sentences. After quietly supporting reform behind the scenes (which is how the group nearly always operates), the group's Cara Sullivan has gone public with an op-ed in the Moonie Times: … [Read more...]

Drug Possession Most Common Cause of Arrest

The FBI has released the 2012 Uniform Crime Report and it shows that drug law violations were the single most common cause for arrest in the United States, with the overwhelming majority of those arrests being for possession only. The numbers are quite ridiculous. … [Read more...]

Another State Drug Testing Failure

We've already seen that drug testing for welfare recipients has cost more than it saved in other states and now Utah has found the same thing. Their system was quite different from Florida's, involving a written test that was supposed to tell who needs to be given a drug test. … [Read more...]

Obama vs Bush on Medical Marijuana

During his 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama repeatedly said that if elected he would make sure the DEA shifted its focus away from those states were marijuana is legal. In reality, the opposite has happened. He's actually spent more in 4 1/2 years fighting medical marijuana than Bush did in 8 years. … [Read more...]

Nope, Drug Testing Doesn’t Save Money

The New York Times has some final numbers from the brief time the state of Florida was requiring drug testing for everyone on food stamps. The result: Much lower rates of drug usage (almost entirely marijuana) than the general population and no money saved for the state. … [Read more...]

World Anti-Doping Agency Changes Pot Rules

The World Anti-Doping Agency has changed its rules on marijuana testing, raising the threshold for a positive test far higher in order to only catch those smoking pot during competition, not in between competitions. It's a good start, but still not far enough: … [Read more...]

Appeals Court Cuts Crack Sentences

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 sentenced. Now the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that those sentenced under the old rules must have their sentences reduced as well. The court said: … [Read more...]

Whites More Likely to Abuse Drugs

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. … [Read more...]


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