Author Archive | C.J. Ciaramella

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Jeff Sessions Says Opioid Addiction Starts With Marijuana. Here Are 6 Studies That Say Otherwise

Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks marijuana may be a gateway to prescription opioid and heroin addiction. In fact, a number of academic studies show lower rates of opioid abuse and overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event last night in honor of the late Ronald Reagan’s birthday, Sessions […]

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ALEC Urges State to Reform Drug-Free School Zone Laws

Jim Weber/ZUMA Press/NewscomThe American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative, pro-business organization that drafts model bills for state legislatures, passed a resolution Friday urging states to reform their drug-free school zone laws. The conservative group is the latest in a growing bipartisan chorus opposing punitive drug-free school zone laws, which exist in all 50 states […]

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ACLU Sues Pennsylvania For Putting Death Row Inmates in Permanent Solitary Confinement

MARK MAKELA/REUTERS/NewscomFive inmates on Pennsylvania’s death row have spent a cumulative 115 years in solitary confinement—more than 42,000 days with little to no human contact in a cell the size of a parking space. Such extreme and prolonged deprivation violates their constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment, according to a new lawsuit filed today […]

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A Year After Reforms, Virginia Still Suspends Nearly 1 Million Driver’s Licenses For Court Debts

Last February, the Virginia court system announced big changes to its rules to keep poor residents from having their driver’s licenses suspended simply because of their inability to pay court fines and fines. But a year later, nearly 1 million Virginians—one out of every six licensed drivers in the state—still have suspended licenses for unpaid […]

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Alabama Raked in $2.2 Million in Civil Asset Forfeiture in 2015

The day in 2007 that Alabama police raided his stepfather’s house on suspicion of growing marijuana, Robert Bradford remembers the sheriff looking out the window and remarking, “This’ll make a great shooting range for training the police department, this property.” Royce Williams, Bradford’s stepfather, had been growing and using marijuana to manage pain from several […]

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Dallas Cash Bail System Leaves Poor Languishing In Jail, Lawsuit Says

Jim Mahoney/MCT/NewscomShannon Daves has been held in solitary confinement at the Dallas County, Texas, jail for nearly a week because she can’t afford a $500 bail. Daves, 47, an unemployed, homeless transgender woman accused of theft, is one of hundreds of criminal defendants in Dallas County languishing behind bars every day simply because of their […]

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Bill Introduced to Stop Civil Forfeiture Funding of DEA Marijuana Eradication Program

Randall Benton/TNS/NewscomCiting waste of taxpayer dollars, shifting public opinion, and constitutional concerns, Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) have introduced a bill in Congress that would block funds from the federal government’s controversial asset forfeiture fund from being used for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) marijuana eradication program. The Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture […]

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Kamala Harris Went to Bat for Dirty Prosecutors as California Attorney General

Alex Edelman/ZUMA Press/NewscomScroll through the carefully manicured Twitter account of Sen. Kamala Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party and one of the newest members of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, and you’ll find many references to “justice.” Harris is one of the strongest voices in the Senate for criminal justice reform and rolling […]

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