In the 1970s, as the gains from the Civil Rights Movement became real, the federal government started a war. They called it the War on Drugs, but the truth is that it was really a war on people – very particular people. In fact, it is now widely accepted that our federal government flooded communities with drugs, laundered the profits, then cracked down on the victims by arresting and convicting them.
In the 40+ years since, tens of millions of people, predominantly from communities of color, have been victims of this war – caught up in prison, their permanent records forever stained by senseless convictions for non-violent drug crimes. People who should’ve received treatment instead got jail.
In 2018, as marijuana is legalized and decriminalized across the country, progressive DA’s and city leaders must begin the process of righting these wrongs by doing three things.
- Expunging and cleaning the records of people previously convicted for marijuana crimes. Nobody should pay a lifetime price for what is now widely legal.
- Dropping the current cases and arrests of non-violent marijuana charges. This is a waste of precious resources that could be spent in so many better ways.
- Instructing judges and prosecutors to send all non-violent drug offenders into well-resourced counseling and diversion programs. Let’s wrap people who need it with treatment – not prison.
Sign the petition demanding that the nation’s prosecutors and leaders take these three actions. Pass it on to every single person you know. Post it on social media. Text and email it to your friends. On this issue, public pressure matters. The 2,400 elected prosecutors in our nation are simply not used to feeling this type of heat. We must create it ourselves.