Legalizing marijuana, granting clemency to individuals convicted of drug offenses and investing in harm reduction applications such as secure injection web pages are component of a criminal justice reform program that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released on Tuesday.
The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate stressed that the war on drugs has been carried out in a racially discriminatory manner, writing that it is unfair that “a kid with an ounce of pot can get thrown in jail, even though a bank executive who launders cash for a drug cartel can get a bonus. It is lengthy previous time for us to reform our method.”
“This failure [of the drug war] has been specifically dangerous for communities of colour, and we require a new strategy,” she mentioned. “It begins with legalizing marijuana and erasing previous convictions, and then eliminating the remaining disparity in between crack and powder cocaine sentencing.”
What’s much more, the drug war “has criminalized addiction, ripped apart families—and largely failed to curb drug use” when a much more powerful method would treat addiction as a public well being problem.
Subsequent, we have to rethink what we decide on to criminalize. That begins with repealing the 1994 crime bill—the bulk of which wants to go—and legalizing marijuana. Overcriminalization has filled prisons and devastated communities—and it is time for it to finish.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 20, 2019
That contains diverting individuals who’ve been convicted of non-violent drug offenses to remedy applications and giving proof-primarily based sources for individuals suffering from addiction. For instance, Warren’s program calls for secure injection web pages exactly where individuals can use illicit drugs below the supervision of health-related pros who can assist protect against fatal overdoses and get individuals into remedy. She also mentioned needle exchange applications and expanding access to buprenorphine would decrease the opioid crisis.
“Instead of locking up individuals for nonviolent marijuana crimes, I’ve proposed placing pharmaceutical executives on the hook to report suspicious orders for controlled substances that harm the lives of millions.”
She also named for the abolition of specific mandatory minimum sentences and mentioned that “people who struggle with addiction must not be incarcerated simply because of their illness.”
“Mass incarceration has not decreased addiction prices or overdose deaths, simply because substance abuse disorder is a public well being dilemma — and it is lengthy previous time to treat it that way,” the program says. “We know that diversion applications are each much more humane and a improved investment than incarceration — for every single dollar we invest in remedy applications, we can save $12 in future crime and well being care charges.”
“And rather than incarcerating men and women with substance abuse issues, we must expand possibilities that divert them into applications that present genuine remedy.”
Like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Warren’s criminal justice reform proposal also mentions executive actions she could unilaterally take.
Particularly, she wrote that the Justice Division must not hold authority to make clemency suggestions and it must rather be left up to an independent clemency board so that these eligible for a pardons and commutations are much more swiftly identified.
The president can grant clemency and pardons herself. I will empower a clemency board to make suggestions straight to the White Property, identifying broad classes of potentially-deserving men and women for critique, such as these serving mandatory minimums that must be abolished.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 20, 2019
“I’ll direct the board to recognize broad classes of potentially-deserving men and women for critique, like these who would have benefited from retroactivity below the Initially Step Act, men and women who are jailed below outdated or discriminatory drug laws, or these serving mandatory minimums that must be abolished,” she mentioned.
The plan’s unveiling comes two days soon after Sanders released his criminal justice reform proposal, which also named for marijuana legalization and the implementation of harm reduction policies such as secure consumption facilities.
Buttigieg’s program stands out from his fellow Democratic candidates in at least 1 regard: the mayor mentioned drug possession must broadly be decriminalized.
Warren also released a separate program for Indian tribes final week that entails defending tribal cannabis applications from federal intervention.
Bernie Sanders Calls For Legalization Of Marijuana And Protected Injection Web-sites
Photo courtesy of Edward Kimmel.