Attorney General: Drug Sentences Need Reform, Too Many In Prison

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director August 9, 2013

    In an interview earlier this week with National Public Radio, US Attorney General Eric Holder publicly acknowledged the obvious:

    -There are too many citizens in prison on low level drug charges

    -The mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines employed by the federal government should be reformed

    -The inherent outcome of the federal criminal justice system affirms serious racial disparities exist


    Holder: “The war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old. There have been a lot of unintended consequences. There’s been a decimation of certain communities, in particular communities of color.”

    “[W]e can certainly change our enforcement priorities, and so we have some control in that way,” Holder said. “How we deploy our agents, what we tell our prosecutors to charge, but I think this would be best done if the executive branch and the legislative branch work together to look at this whole issue and come up with changes that are acceptable to both.”

    Listen to interview here.

    The Drug Policy Alliance has multiple suggestions on how President Obama and Attorney General Holder ‘can go big’ in their last three years in office to substantively reform the failed war on some drugs.

    43 responses to “Attorney General: Drug Sentences Need Reform, Too Many In Prison”

    1. Miles says:

      OMG!!! Hell must have frozen over. It seems that Holder is actually saying something that makes sense; or am I misunderstanding?

    2. MotherEarthChoiceNow! says:

      The picture with the President Obama, We CANnabis is the Bomb!!!

      The more STATES that legalize Cannabis, the more the Gov’t WILL have to CHANGE their PROHIBITION Policies…one State at a time…**20 States and counting!!! WOW

      To: Holder…You have incaserated, All, who at heart are the very people who are part of the Cannabis Family for eons. Every thing the white’s have learned about cannabis, including The Arts and Sciences of; Education, usage, Research, and applications, startin business, classifying the strains, and selling it back to consumers for profit. At the risk of keeping white’s youths out of prision, so they can advance ahead of their counter parts by decades..to prove WHAT???

      That white’s have a LAW that protects them no matter what they want to accomplish their goals, at anybody’s expense of; The LOST of life, Dignity, and self respect, wages family, friends, religion, your Dreams.

      Knowing, one day the veil of Deceit will be exposed; laid wide open like a filet fish right for the pilate; Do Not Tread of This!!! WELL, NOW what?? Mr Holder The Veil of Deceit has a huge Hold in it FASE TRUTH; correct this Falasy, Now!!!

    3. Anonymous says:

      Uhh dee-da-dee took 40 yrs but comin round the mountain now

    4. Douglas says:

      Well if Ronmey becomes the next Pres. His Family values say Throw all pot smoker in jail.

    5. Just An Observer says:

      Chimpeachment time! When a child lies, the child is supposed to be punished. When a POTUS deals in lies, he is supposed to be sent packing. “I am not a crook!” didn’t work 4 decades ago. Standards have apparently dropped. A nation that has no respect for truth is not going to endure. One guy said his would last 1000 years and his best pitch was The Big Lie. 12 years later his dead body was laying burned in ruins along with the nation that believed in him.

    6. Derral says:

      I think that this is it. I think this is Joe Biden coming out in support for gays “ahead” of schedule. This is the Obama way. Have someone in his admin. go and check the water before he does a swan dive into the pool. I think we are talking months until the end of this failed war on drugs in it’s current incarnation. I think marijuana will become a state issue and that the federal government will reclassify it out of it’s schedule 1 classification and cease federal funding for the enforcement of marijuana regulation as long as no local laws are being broken. I might be being naive, but I think this is what’s going to happen. We will have to wait and see.

    7. Rithoa says:

      Even if the demon himself, Holder, acknowledged his past sin… it won’t atone for all the lives he has helped ruin. How is he even still in office? I’m not just talking cannabis.

    8. Joel: the other Joel says:

      Please stay cool about this. There are those that are trying to keep prohibition alive and they would say the most hateful things towards you and mocking your illness by saying, “You just wanted to get high”.

    9. Matoxx says:

      They just need to legalize it period. Not only for medical but for sacramental, recreational, and just to feel good, open the third eye, mediate, etc etc etc. How can they evaluate who is qualified for marijuana. It has many preventive agents for those who use it who are not even sick. Why do we have to wait until we get sick to even use it. For the thousands of years its been used the term Medical Marijuana never even existed. Its always been used for more than juse medicine. Its just a herb for all just free it up use it enjoy all the benefits of it.

    10. Julian says:

      It feels like the planet finally reversed polarity. Congradulations NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, votehemp.com and LEAP. There’s a long fight ahead to hold Holder to his word… but thanks to persistent activism, both American and international, Change is gonna come real soon.