Is The Justice Department Ending The War On Drugs? [VIDEO]
Attorney General Eric Holder made a statement that restores a little faith in the Justice Department. Watch this historic statement on video inside.
On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder made an announcement that will start to stop the discriminatory effects on Black and brown men in the War on Drugs.
The centerpiece of Holder's plan is to scale back prosecution for certain drug offenders -- those with no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels.
He said they would no longer be charged with offences that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences. They now "will be charged with offences for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins."
Currently, there is a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence for possession of 28 grams, or about an ounce, of crack cocaine.
The changes are effective immediately!
Mr. Holder went on to say:
Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason. We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.
Back in the Reagan Era, the "War on Drugs" was raged in response to the devastating effect that crack had on America. But sadly, this war has never been focused on rooting out drug kingpins or violent offenders. Federal funding flows to those agencies that increase dramatically the volume of drug arrests, not the agencies most successful in bringing down the bosses.
Instead of a War on Poverty, they got a War on Drugs so the Police can bother me.
-- Tupac (Changes)
Yes, Pac said it best! Police are rewarded for the number of drug arrests, so that is why the stop and frisk policy is so popular. To make matters worse, federal drug forfeiture laws allow state and local law enforcement agencies to keep for their own use 80 percent of the cash, cars and homes seized from drug suspects.
Remember the movie 'Training Day'?
Today there are more African Americans under correctional control today -- in prison or jail, on probation or parole -- than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. We are rounded up for relatively minor, non-violent drug offences and sent to prison due to "mandatory minimum sentencing" laws.
Most people in state prison have no history of violence or even of significant selling activity. In fact, during the 1990s -- the period of the most dramatic expansion of the drug war -- nearly 80 percent of the increase in drug arrests was for marijuana possession, a drug generally considered less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and at least as prevalent in middle-class white communities as in the inner city.
Eric Holder's announcement on Monday is one small step for the Justice System to regain trust and respect from the community. But it is a very important step in the right direction!