By Mike Uth
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.
By Shakyra Diaz
Michael is 23, African-American and incarcerated because he was caught with a bag of marijuana. Now he’s a “repeat offender” because of a similar arrest years ago. He’s lost his job, freedoms, college plans, perhaps his shot at any decent future.
Almost 40 years ago, long before the issue took off around the country, Ohio legislators decriminalized the possession of marijuana up to 100 grams, a not insignificant amount. This was welcome progress, and the hope was lawmakers and police across Ohio would soon focus their attention elsewhere.