Tag: ACLU

US: Disastrous Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use

The massive enforcement of laws criminalizing personal drug use and possession in the United States causes devastating harm, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a joint report released today. Enforcement ruins individual and family lives, discriminates against people of color, and undermines public health. The federal and state governments should decriminalize the personal use and possession of illicit drugs.

The 196-page report, “Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States,” finds that enforcement of drug possession laws causes extensive and unjustifiable harm to individuals and communities across the country. The long-term consequences can separate families; exclude people from job opportunities, welfare assistance, public housing, and voting; and expose them to discrimination and stigma for a lifetime. While more people are arrested for simple drug possession in the US than for any other crime, mainstream discussions of criminal justice reform rarely question whether drug use should be criminalized at all.

An Opening for Justice for CIA Torture

The United States government just opened the door a crack to justice for the torture of scores of men in CIA custody under its infamous detention and interrogation program. For the first time, the Justice Department didn’t effectively block a lawsuit by detainees held and tortured by the CIA by invoking, as it had done in previous similar lawsuits, the “state secrets privilege.”