Like clockwork, somebody in America is captured for drug possession. The quantity of Americans confined with this charge has significantly increased starting around 1980, making it 1.3 million captured each year in 2015. Honestly, that is multiple times the number of captures for drug deals.
One-fifth of the people in prison, about 456,000, are serving time for a drug charge.
Putting people in prison for drug-related offenses has been proven to have a minor positive impact.
Since 1971, the war on drugs has cost the US over $1 trillion. In 2015 alone, the federal government spent an estimated $9.2 million every day to incarcerate people with drug-related offenses making that more than $3.3 billion annually.
When President Ronald Reagan launched his “Just Say No” campaign, zero-tolerance policies and mandatory minimum sentences were created, resulting in more severe penalties for drug-related offenses.
7 Organizations Pushing for Reform
1. Cage-Free Cannabis
Cage-Free Cannabis is established in three sorts of justice: They arrange expungement occasions and backing individuals and associations from networks hurt by the War on Drugs and they make occupations for networks of shading and promoter for an impartial industry.
They also advance a manageable pot industry and assist brands with creating and executing social obligations that intend to become more manageable, different, and drawn in with their networks. Help work with you on the variety of your staff, the assortment of your demographic, the maintainability of your activities, and arrange occasions like expungement facilities, work fairs, and instructive studios that present your image and your qualities to new crowds.
CAN-DO is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit foundation that advocates Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders.
The CAN-DO Mission:
- Educate the public about the conspiracy law.
- Communicate directly with prisoners.
- Educate the public about numerous issues related to mass incarceration.
- Identify individuals seeking justice through Clemency and advocate for them.
- Provide clothing and assistance to individuals who are transitioning from prison to society.
3. Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA)
The Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) works to seek the complete removal of cannabis from the Schedules of the Controlled Substances Act and bring an end to cannabis criminalization. Help individuals formerly incarcerated integrate into society and equal opportunity to contribute to the legal cannabis market.
They are also seeking federal and regulatory frameworks for cannabis that promote public safety while ensuring low barriers to entry and non-restrictive occupational and business licensing.
4. Freedom Grow Forever
FreedomGrowForever is an all-volunteer work to assist Cannabis prisoners in recovering opportunities while supporting their penances with grocery store cash, jail effort, and state-funded schooling.
The volunteers at Freedom Grow Forever are the existence backing those detained for peaceful pot feelings. They send the detainees cash, instruct people in general about their treacheries, and carry a desire to their lives. Each volunteer has had their life moved by this shamefulness somehow or another, shape, or structure
NORML’s primary goal is to move general assessment adequately to authorize the mindful utilization of weed by grown-ups and fill in as a backer for customers to guarantee they approach excellent cannabis that is protected, helpful, and reasonable.
NORML drives the battle to change state and government weed laws, whether by elector drive or through chosen enactment. In addition, NORML fills in as an educational asset to the public media on Maryjane-related stories, giving a point of view to counterbalance the counter-pot promulgation from the public authority.
6. The Last Prisoner Project
The Last Prisoner Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform. The organization utilizes a three-pronged approach to securing FULL freedom for the communities they serve.
In the first place, through intervention, promotion, and mindfulness crusades, the Last Prisoner Project attempts to review the past and proceed with the damages of these crooked laws and policies. The gathering includes lawyers, criminal equity reformers, backers, and justice-impacted people committed to transforming our uncalled for and insufficient pot law and strategy approach.
7. The Weldon Project
The Weldon Project is committed to subsidizing social change and monetary guides for those serving jail time for weed-related offenses. Through broad organizations all through the legal Cannabis industry.
The Weldon Project dispatched the “Mission Green” drive to increase current standards for mindfulness, civil rights, and social value by giving marijuana organizations and customers extraordinary approaches to partake in a cross-country crusade expected to provide alleviation to the individuals who have been contrarily affected by disallowance.
Habitual Offender Law
Habitual Offender laws are some of the most common reasons nonviolent offenders are serving life terms in prison.
This law can be utilized at the prosecutor’s discretion and applied to any offense, including minor violations, for example, shoplifting or drug ownership.
This law can also:
- Mandate prison time which can make people ineligible for alternative incarcerations like probation.
- Require a life sentence or a maximum sentence to be handed down.
- Deny the convicted an opportunity to earn their release through good time programs and good behavior.
- Require all prior felony convictions against a person to be counted no matter how much time has passed between them, the person’s age, or the severity of the previous convictions.
Habitual offender laws have done nothing but destroy nonviolent offenders’ lives and caused irrefutable damage to the lives of their family members. In addition, it has contributed to the overpopulated prison system and cost the states that use them millions.
Let’s look at some statistics:
75% of people serving 20+ years through habitual sentences are black men, even though they make up just 13% of the State’s population.
There are currently 78 people in prison serving life sentences for habitual offenders involving drug offensives collectively serving 4688 years in jail costing taxpayers around 70 million dollars per year.
People who support long sentences argue that it improves public safety by deterring crime and keeping “dangerous” people off the streets.
Research has proven this wrong with the following findings:
- Long prison sentences are ineffective as crime control measures
- Prison sentences for many offenses can be shortened with no effect on public safety
- People are far less likely to break the law as they age.
What is proven with the use of habitual offender laws is that:
- More than half of the people convicted using this law are the primary financial support for their families, causing severe challenges for the family members left behind.
- When the person convicted is a mother, her children often suffer the most by being taken from their homes and usually placed in the state foster system.
How You Can Help
Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. If you want to help change that, check out NORML’s TAKE ACTION section and see what you can do in your State. You can also write a letter to your Congressperson through The Last Prisoner Project’s Demand More project
For more information, you can contact us here or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.