Forfeiture law permits the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with state and local police departments, to seize property merely on the grounds that it may have been connected to a crime. In drug cases, assets seized might include a home in which sale is merely suspected, or a car in which drugs might have been transported. For example: If an individual gives a ride to a friend who, unbeknownst to her, is carrying cocaine, the government can legally seize her car. The only recourse left to the owner is to sue the government. If she is unsuccessful, the government can sell her car and use the money to support further drug investigations. Drug forfeiture laws provide a sinister incentive for the War on Drugs to continue. Contact your legislator today to encourage them to take action to end civil asset forfeiture.
This month, the Senate approved a funding bill authorizing Veterans’ Affairs healthcare providers to discuss medical marijuana as a treatment option for veterans seeking care. This bill marks a step forward in the provision of compassionate care for American servicemen and women. Research has suggested that medical marijuana can help ease suffering related to post-traumatic stress and brain injuries, which veterans often experience. Yet current federal law prohibits VA doctors from even discussing medical marijuana with their patients. At present, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use. In these states, veterans cannot receive or even discuss medical marijuana in VA healthcare centers.
Clergy for a New Drug Policy opposes the harsh mandatory minimums that have radically increased the number of Americans in prison for non-violent offenses. We are excited to report that a bipartisan group of senators has crafted legislation that would reduce mandatory minimums. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 would help reverse the “tough on crime” policies that have dramatically increased the nation’s prison population and disproportionately incarcerated people of color.
Sign this faith community letter to President Obama on the addiction crisis. Together, we can create a movement letting our nation know that addiction is preventable and treatable, that far too many of those affected have been incarcerated, and that people can and do get well. To learn more about this issue, visit our Take Action page on Harm Reduction.
When President Obama granted clemency to 46 prisoners in July, it was the largest presidential pardon since the 1960s. Still, many more Americans remain incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes. The Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced drug sentencing disparities, does not help those already incarcerated. The Drug Policy Alliance is mobilizing supporters to reach out to President Obama to advocate on behalf of these individuals. Contact President Obama today to use his power of clemency to free more prisoners of the Drug War.