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Report Recommends Sweeping Reforms, Including Decriminalizing All Drugs; Momentum for Reform Accelerates as California Introduces Bills to Aid Non-Citizen Defendants Arrested for Drug Possession
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch released a first-of-its-kind report showing that tens of thousands of people are deported from the United States each year for minor drug law violations. The report, A Price Too High: U.S. Families Torn Apart by Deportations for Drug Offenses, documents how deportations of non-citizens for minor drug possession offenses have spiked in recent years, increasing by 43% from 2007 to 2012. In total, more than a quarter of a million people (roughly 266,000) have been deported for drug offenses since 2007, most commonly for minor drug possession offenses.
by David Bornstein
If a member of your family was arrested, would you know how to help? Would you know what to look for in a police report? Or guide your relative about what to expect from the defense attorney?
For a wide swath of Americans, these are not hypothetical questions. More than 2.3 million people are in prisons and jails, and 5 million are on parole or probation. More astonishingly, nearly one-third of Americans have been arrested on criminal charges (other than a minor traffic violation) by age 23.
HB 218 replaces the threat of jail time and a criminal record with a civil penalty — a $125 fine, similar to a traffic ticket — for possession of a small amount of marijuana
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois could soon become the latest state to remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana after both chambers of the legislature approved a measure to replace criminal charges with a civil law violation.