Innocent people are convicted of crimes that never even happened. These are worst case events that show what happens when the justice system goes completely off the rails. This is true whether a man is convicted of a low-level misdemeanor crime or a more serious felony offense.
Prohibition is a short-sighted, ineffective policy, but that's not standing in their way.
Most of us assume it's because someone, somewhere sat down with the scientific evidence, and figured out that cannabis is more harmful than other drugs we use all the time -- like alcohol and cigarettes. Not at all.
A major bipartisan political shift on numerous drug policy issues is underway that has gone largely unnoticed in the press.
The correct stance on criminal justice is no longer as simple as "I'm tough on crime." Politicians are waking up to the reality that our overly harsh crime policies need to be rolled back.
Obama took yet another giant step on the path to fair and equitable drug enforcement and treatment with his mass clemency grants and prison visit. But make no mistake, it's a step that many more must take before we'll ever attain real and lasting drug sentencing reforms in America.
Intellectual consistency has never been an attribute of American politics. Life is complicated, and voters want different things at different times. But real social progress is a function of ideas and leaders who stick by them. Where Republicans and Democrats can find compatible intellectual grounds, there are all kinds of possibilities.
Big Marijuana already exists -- it's also called the Black Market. Public concern over a large, unregulated, socially irresponsible marijuana market is, and should be, argument number one in support of marijuana's legalization.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on Monday that police will no longer arrest people carrying less than 25 grams of weed. Instead, they will issue a court summons. But will the new policy be any better?
What won't the DEA do in its war on drugs?
In Tennessee, 26-year-old Mallory Loyola, a meth addict, recently became the first person arrested under a new state law that classifies taking illegal drugs while pregnant as an assault. Instead of recovering from childbirth and receiving proper medical care, Loyola was hauled off to jail.
If sentenced today I would face a maximum sentence of 20 years, not a living death sentence. I know that the man I've become today deserves to be in the bands of society, to live as a productive citizen and faithful member of my community.