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News items related to drug policy

Is California Finally Figuring Out Drugs?

"No state has embraced both illegal drugs and the official wars thereon like California," writes Mike Males. After a roller coaster half-century, the state may finally be on its way to good drug policy.

Clearing the Path Ahead: One Step Towards Improving Reentry in California

California recently lifted the ban on access to welfare for people with felony drug convictions. Though a strong step in the right direction, many obstacles remain for this vulnerable population.

Cracking the Racial Disparity for Cocaine Sentencing

By equalizing treatment and punishment for crack and powder cocaine, Sen. Mitchell's SB 1010 recognizes drug abuse as a health issue and promotes racial equality.

Harm Reduction: A Hard Pill to Swallow

San Francisco Sentencing Commissioner, Kate McCracken, reflects upon a recent visit to Seattle, Washington to learn more about the LEAD program, a police operated pre-arrest diversion program.

Whatever Happened to the Ad War on Drugs?

CJCJ's Mike Males is featured in Advertising Age and highlights the problems with commercials created by Partnership at Drugfree.org

Partnership for a Drug-Wrecked America

The Partnership has been an instrumental lobby spending billions of dollars on decades of misdirected, billion-dollar "drug free" ad campaigns that are really designed to protect powerful legal-drug interests and major constituencies. By using emotional images and misinformation to divert attention from real drug issues and prevent sensible solutions, the Partnership has functioned as a key promoter of drug abuse.

Weed More Likely Than Rape or Murder to Get an Undocumented Immigrant Detained

The Drug Policy Alliance's Amanda Reiman discusses a recent CJCJ report on Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds and what suspected criminal activities were most likely to result in detainment.

Weed more likely than rape to get immigrant detained, report charges

A new report suggests that a suspected undocumented immigrant convicted of possessing pot may be more likely to face immigration detention than one who’s been convicted of rape.

Four Reasons Californians Need Fair Drug Sentencing Reform

This year, Governor Jerry Brown can take a bold step to reform drug sentencing for individuals who posses small quantities of a controlled substance for personal use. Senate Bill 649, authored by State Senator Mark Leno, is a long-term solution that gives California's judges and prosecutors the choice to offer individuals a reduced sentence, when appropriate, for drug possession.

SF Commission Explores What Works: Examining a Collaborative Diversion Program

Local model practices exist throughout the nation and there is substantial empirical research available to interested parties who seek to re-think their approach to juvenile and criminal justice. Justice leaders do not need to reinvent the wheel, but learn from others who have boldly risked a different approach within their local jurisdiction.

The Color-Line in American Criminal Justice

W.E.B. Du Bois famously declared in his 1903 work, On the Souls of Black Folk, “for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line”. Issues of race remain highly relevant today for all Americans; even if takes the death of an unarmed African American teenager to remind us of this fact.

W.E.B. Du Bois famously declared in his 1903 work, On the Souls of Black Folk, “for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line”. Issues of race remain highly relevant today for all Americans; even if takes the death of an unarmed African American teenager to remind us of this fact.

SB 649’s “Wobbler” Option Creates Flexibility for Certain Drug Offenders

SB 649, authored by State Senator Mark Leno, pursues a similar approach to Realignment by recognizing that people convicted of simple drug possession, as well as the overall community, will not benefit from austere penalties. Rather, these individuals would benefit greatly from sentences that expand access to rehabilitation, which can be better provided through this bill.

California Stentencing Institute screenshot

California Sentencing
Institute (CASI)

Explore how California’s 58 counties send their residents to correctional institutions with interactive maps, charts, and downloadable data.

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