Last year the ACLU released a groundbreaking report that chronicled in remarkable detail the vast racial injustices that persist throughout the United States with respect to enforcement of marijuana laws. It was not a pretty picture, but it was a story that had to be told.
In response to the Governor’s recent proposal to amp up the failed War on Drugs by adding 14 new law enforcement positions, 4 new assistant attorney positions dedicated specifically to drug crimes, and four new district court judges that would exclusively hear and decide drug-related cases - there has been some discussion about also expanding the availability of drug courts here in Maine.
Good criminal justice reform news today to brighten this otherwise snowy morning! The New York Times reported that U.S Attorney General Eric Holder has endorsed a proposal by the Sentencing Commission that would change federal guidelines to reduce prison sentences for drugs crimes specifically related to sale of drugs. The average federal sentence for dealing drugs is 62 months – this proposal would shorten that by about one year, to 51 months.