Last week, Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, made the exciting announcement that Maine would be receiving $7.5 million dollars to fight substance abuse through community education and treatment programs. In our letter to the editor in the Bangor Daily News today, we commend this approach.
Earlier this week, we renewed our call for a shift in Maine’s drug policy priorities in response to an announcement that Maine will receive $900,000 from the federal government to ramp up the war on drugs in this state, specifically focusing on meth-related arrests. While more money to fight drug abuse seems like a good thing, this announcement left much to be desired.
Last week, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and Ibis Reproductive Health released a report showing that the states with the most abortion restrictions also have the worst health outcomes for women and children. The report, found here, exposes as false the claims that TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws are for the benefit of women’s health and safety.
The New York City Corrections Department, headed by former Maine Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte, has announced that it will end the use of solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-olds by the end of the year.
Today, the Supreme Court declined to hear all pending petitions in marriage cases, sending an unmistakable signal that the Court is comfortable with lower court decisions in favor of marriage and quietly but forcefully bringing the number of states where same-sex couples can get married to 30.
For many individuals, placing a political sign on the lawn is the most personal declaration of political affiliation they are likely to make. Like much political discourse, opinions about political signs are mixed: some people see them as a personal way of participating in the political process, while others see them as an eyesore.
On Monday evening I attended a community dialogue with Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck about race, law enforcement and community relations, organized by the NAACP Portland Branch, Green Memorial AME Zion Church and Williams Temple Church of God in Christ. The discussion was a follow-up to a dialogue that took place last month in response to the tragic events that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri.
This morning, I visited three different classes at Portland High School to talk about Maine’s anti-bullying law and how it protects students all across the state. It’s a subject we’ve been devoting a lot of energy towards as the new school year ramps up, and we have some exciting new resources to share as a result.
To start with, we’ve created a brand new video that explains the law to students. It’s quick and straightforward, with all kinds of important information that young people need to protect their rights under the law. Check it out:
I learned about a law this week governing the use of solitary confinement, one that I had never heard of before. To be precise, this isn’t really a law – more like a very strongly worded guideline, albeit one published by an important federal agency. It says that an individual should never be locked in solitary confinement, except as an absolute last resort. It mandates that individuals, when in isolated confinement, must have the ability to socialize, to communicate, and to physically interact with other individuals.