President Obama's National Drug Control Strategy in 2010 first proclaimed the major policy goals of the administration's approach to the drug problem and the goals were to be met by 2015. Not only have they not been met, in critical instances, the policies have been going in the wrong direction, rapidly.
We learned last week that, in the midst of the ongoing opiate overdose crisis, heroin overdose deaths rose an additional 28 percent between 2013 and 2014. That's on top of the 340 percent rise in heroin deaths since 2007, such that beyond the 8,217 deaths of 2013, we now have another 10,574. That is, we now see a 440- percent increase from the Bush years.Read more
After the removal of Ronald Rogers, the long-serving Pardon Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice who failed to please President Obama over issues of clemency, his replacement, Deborah Leff, has begun to operate the new ‘Clemency Project 2014.’ It is an effort to turn felons back on the streets, under more relaxed criteria.Read more
On Monday, President Obama announced the results of his war on unjust sentences and the incarceration of large numbers of low-level, non-violent drug offenders. Now in the seventh year of his presidency, he has added just 46 federal felons to the list of those whose sentences he has commuted.Read more
“The quality of mercy is not straine’d,” implored Shakespeare’s Portia, meaning it should not be difficult or forced. But President Obama’s Clemency Project, an effort to free “a whole bunch of good citizens who committed one little mistake” and ended up with more than 10 years in prison, is starting to look a little, well, “strain’d," indeed.Read more
On Monday, Senator Rand Paul told CBS radio host Dom Giordano that if he were the Republican nominee for president he would attack Hillary Clinton on crime. “I’ll ask Hillary Clinton, what have you done for criminal justice?Read more
President Obama this week told an audience in Jamaica that U.S. efforts against illegal drugs were “counterproductive” because they relied too much on incarceration—particularly for “young people who did not engage in violence.”Read more
A poll reported in the Washington Post on September 23 offers positive news for those troubled by the movement to legalize marijuana. It also does not augur well for those pushing more states to follow Colorado and Washington, where legalization is already underway.Read more
President Obama visited Denver this week, was offered marijuana, and laughed. His administration made possible the open marketing and use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state by directing that federal law not be enforced. The president is joined by Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul in supporting marijuana legalization. As Clinton recently told CNN, "On recreational marijuana, states are the laboratories of democracy.Read more
When asked during a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour last night whether she used drugs, Hillary Clinton was admirably firm. Had she done marijuana? “Absolutely not,” she replied. “I didn't do it when I was young, I'm not going to start now.” She is, however, more wavering when it comes to exposing other people’s children to the impact of drug use.
While she opposed marijuana decriminalization during her first presidential run in 2007, by 2014, following the enabling by the Obama administration of legal, recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, candidate Clinton is now more receptive to a drug experience.Read more
The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has spawned reports of increased use, declining perception of risk, increased neonatal risk, drug tourism, diversion of public assistance to fund use, creation of significantly more powerful forms of the drug, and new financial rules to permit money from drug sales to enter the banking system. President Obama, moreover, proclaims marijuana use is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco—virtually assuring that the legalization of marijuana will be a defining domestic policy of his presidency.Read more
Several weeks ago in San Francisco, Attorney General Eric Holder told the American Bar Association that our criminal justice system is too harsh, too costly, and gives convicted African-American males sentences 20 percent longer than others for similar crimes.Read more
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