The “War on Drugs Has Been a Failure”, Says Sheriff of Washington’s Largest County

John Urquhart, Sheriff of the largest county in Washington State, has publicly denounced the drug war, and will speak at an upcoming U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which is taking place to discuss state and federal cannabis policies. The hearing is designed as a way for the nation to begin forging a better path forward in regards to their cannabis laws.

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“The war on drugs has been a failure”, says King County Sheriff John Urquhart.

In a press release sent out yesterday, Sheriff Urquhart states that; “as a former narcotics detective, I can say with full confidence that the War on Drugs has been a failure”.

Read moreThe “War on Drugs Has Been a Failure”, Says Sheriff of Washington’s Largest County

For Years the DEA Has Monitored Over 4 Billion Calls a Day

For years the DEA has worked in collaboration with AT&T to monitor over 4 billion phone calls a day in an attempt to combat the illegal drug trade, according to the New York Timesdea-logo

This monitoring – which surpasses that of the National Security Agency (NSA), which has recently come under fire for similar conduct – is part of a program dubbed the “Hemisphere Project”, which is a “partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported”, which involves “an extremely close association between the government and the telecommunications giant.”

Read moreFor Years the DEA Has Monitored Over 4 Billion Calls a Day

WA Proposal to Defelonize Simple Drug Possession to be Filed in Upcoming Legislative Session

A recently-announced proposal in Washington State to defelonize simple drug possession has garnered a primary legislative sponsor, State Representative Sherry Appleton, and will be formally filed in the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.swlogo In addition to Representative Appleton, Representatives Joe Fitzgibbon, Jim Moeller (Speaker Pro Tempore) and Chris Reykdal have all signed on as cosponsors, with “more to be announced soon”, according to the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington, the group behind the effort.

Read moreWA Proposal to Defelonize Simple Drug Possession to be Filed in Upcoming Legislative Session

50 Years Ago Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Announced His Dream; The Drug War Wasn’t Part of It

50 years ago today, thousands marched on Washington and watched the inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. announce that he has “a dream”; a dream of equality, and a dream of a better future for his friends and family.Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402

Although we’ve made tremendous strides since that speech, one can’t help but wonder what Mr. King would think of our current drug war, which has become a massive cycle of institutional racism, trapping minorities in a system which harshly criminalizes simple drug possession, creating perpetual criminals in the process by removing opportunities for housing, education and work, leading many to a life of crime just to “get by”.

Read more50 Years Ago Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Announced His Dream; The Drug War Wasn’t Part of It

Report: Minorities Drastically More Likely to be Searched and Charged for Drugs in the UK

A new report released by the London School of Economics and Political Science has found that minorities are drastically more likely to be stopped, searched and charged for drugs in the UK compared to someone who’s Caucasian.

This chart does a good job of detailing the drastic disparity in drug searches.
This chart does a good job of detailing the disparity in drug searches.

The report – which used a plethora of data from 2009 and 2010 – found that; “Black people were stopped and searched for drugs at 6.3 times the rate of white people, while Asian people were stopped and searched for drugs at 2.5 times the rate… This is despite the fact that drug use is lower amongst black and Asian people when compared to their white counterparts.”

Read moreReport: Minorities Drastically More Likely to be Searched and Charged for Drugs in the UK

U.S. Attorney General to Announce Scale-Back of War on Drugs

In a new policy shift which will be officially announced Monday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the United States Justice Department willericholder be scaling back the war on drugs, including ending the use of mandatory minimum charges for nonviolent drug offenders.

Attorney General Holder will announce the changes tomorrow at a speech being given to the American Bar Association in San Francisco; Holder will announce that the he is “mandating that drug offenders with no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels and no history of violence won’t be charged with offenses that impose mandatory minimums”.

Read moreU.S. Attorney General to Announce Scale-Back of War on Drugs

Brazil Supreme Court to Review Constitutionality of Drug War

Last week seven former ministers of justice in Brazil submitted a petition to the country’s Supreme Court dws_Brazil_Flag_1024x1024eclaring that criminalizing individuals for personal drug use is entirely unconstitutional. The former justices served between the years of 1995 and 2010.

The Brazil Supreme Court will now begin reviewing whether or not what the former justices are saying is legally correct- at least in their opinion. If the Court decides that the illegality of personal drug use has no constitutional basis, it would set precedent across the country that would decriminalize the personal possession of all drugs – something that’s had hugely positive effects in Portugal.

In the petition, the former justices called the drug war “failed”, stating that “treating a user as a citizen, by offering them structured treatment through harm-reducing policies, is more effective than stigmatizing them as a criminal.”

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