A recent JAMA study found that if every state were to legalize recreational marijuana use, there would be 6,800 more traffic fatalities each year. The authors, who acknowledge that there may be other factors involved, join others in demonstrating that marijuana legalization may decrease road safety.
When the U.S. Sentencing Commission advised federal judges that they could release drug offenders early back in 2015, those who got out didn’t commit more crimes than those who stayed in prison longer, a commission study found.
The First Step Act, passed in 2018, was intended to remedy the disproportional racial impact of America’s drug laws with sentencing reductions for nonviolent crack offenses. But many circuit judges have ignored Congress’ intent, making them “complicit in a decades-old mass incarceration scheme,” writes a legal scholar from Wesleyan University.
As protests against racism continue to march on across the country, conversations have sparked a new dialogue about policing and marijuana legalization. Advocates say “drug policy is a social justice issue” and that by legalizing marijuana, unwanted negative and racially-charged interactions with the police will subside.
A White House drug policy office analysis shows an 11.4 percent increase in fatalities for the first four months of 2020, confirming fears that quarantines and lockdowns combined with economic uncertainty would exacerbate the addiction crisis.
Using punitive justice system tools to combat street drug dealers is a waste of resources that could be better oriented towards addressing the public health issues linked to addiction and substance abuse, leading advocates said during the second day of the John Jay Justice Innovations Conference.
Utah’s 2015 drug reforms led to a sharp drop in the state’s prison population, but drug possession arrests are rising, according to an Urban Institute study. Researchers argue that the lesson for state lawmakers is to scrap all felony possession convictions, and invest more funds in counseling and treatment.