Americans vote against the drug war
Whether or not the American war on drugs is winning in the streets, it's taken a beating at the election booth. Last month, voters in five states overwhelmingly passed drug policy reform initiatives. This year, California passed Proposition 36 with more than 60 percent of the popular vote shifting the criminal justice system's focus from incarceration to treatment.
Utah and Oregon passed, by 69 percent and 66 percent, respectively, laws that make it harder for police to seize the property of suspected drug offenders.
Colorado and Nevada passed initiatives making marijuana legal for medical use joining Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Since 1996, 17 of the 19 drug policy reform initiatives have passed.
The impact of the California reforms will be profound. A third of California's prison inmates are behind bars on drug charges. Under the proposition, up to 36,000 non-violent drug offenders and parole violators are expected to be transferred to treatment programmes. Proposition 36 is also expected to save California taxpayers more than $200 million a year, and an additional $500 million by eliminating the need for new prisons.
Source: Ariana Huffington, People Want Cease Fire on War on Drugs, Dallas Morning News, November 27, 2000.
For more on Drug Use and Control http://www.ncpa.org/pd/social/social4.html
Publish date: 31 July 2012
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