On Tuesday, Athens voters overwhelmingly approved ending all penalties for marijuana possession of up to seven ounces. This ballot measure is a hidden gem in this week’s election results and deserves statewide recognition for expanding civil liberties and moving Ohio a step closer to marijuana legalization, which the ACLU has long supported.
The only good thing about Washington Court House arresting naloxone-revived opioid users is that it shows everything wrong with criminal justice today. Since February, this town nestled between Columbus and Cincinnati has been charging overdose victims with “Inducing Panic” after emergency responders revive them.
While President Trump’s executive order against immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries is in the courts, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that the stated reasons for immigration reform—protecting against terrorism from the Middle East—are not supported by the facts.
Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, is a realistic optimist—a valuable trait for the rare dissenting voice against mass incarceration in the Ohio Statehouse.
Our powerful new report, Statehouse to Prison Pipeline 2017, sprang from Gary’s everyday experience listening to legislators, police and prosecutors as they earnestly justify destructive policies: sending more people to prison, for more reasons, for longer periods.
Sentenced to ten years, out in two. Outrageous!
The myth that prisoners serve small fractions of sentences is one of the most destructive falsehoods driving the tragedy of mass incarceration. In Ohio and elsewhere, the use of parole and probation has shrunk to levels that can only be described as harmful to us all.
Let’s be honest. The election of Donald Trump as president felt like a kick in the gut to many supporters of the ACLU of Ohio. The size of Trump’s victory in the Buckeye State—eight percentage points—was especially disheartening for those who defend the rights of people whom our next president attacked: people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and others.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch recently released a startling and heart-breaking report on the drug war called Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States. The title’s “25 seconds” refers to the frequency of drug possession arrests in the United States—not selling or making drugs, simply the act of having a drug or, sometimes, merely drug residue.