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Accused of faking his symptoms, Joshua Lee Smith was dragged from his hospital bed, called a “junkie,” and thrown in jail, his lawsuit says. Then, he woke up paralyzed.
We’re celebrating 4/20 by tackling some popular myths about marijuana and the criminal legal system.
Efforts to address the harms of police violence and incarceration must consider the drug war, activists and treatment professionals note, including the punitive models of treatment.
In February 2019, police officers in Killeen shot James Scott Reed in his home. One officer entered a guilty plea to evidence tampering, but Reed’s family is still suing the city and several officers in federal court.
You can’t incarcerate a public health problem. It doesn’t make us safer. It doesn’t repair harm.
Lamar Burks has maintained his innocence for nearly 25 years in a murder case that has been marked by conflicting eyewitness accounts and the conviction of a DEA agent on corruption charges.
The ‘drug house’ ordinances that force landlords to kick out tenants are mostly compounding the overdose crisis, critics say.
Euka Wadlington was denied clemency by the Department of Justice under Obama. But then he mounted a legal challenge to sentencing enhancements used in his drug case; in April, a federal judge granted his release. Now he’s adjusting to freedom—and life in the coronavirus era.
Despite distancing warnings, more than 80 state and federal agents fanned out in an anti-drug operation that, The Appeal has learned, was based on a series of retail-level drug sales.
Recent successes in stemming the opioid crisis could be reversed if public health budgets are cut or the crisis is seen as secondary to the pandemic.
Legislators are considering giving the DEA dangerous authority, harm reduction advocates say.
Biden believes that the jury is still out on the question of whether marijuana is a gateway to other illicit substances. But the truth is that it is not—and this has long been a matter of settled science.
Derek Harris awaits arguments in the state Supreme Court about the sentencing, which one judge called ‘unconscionable.’
In 2017, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala prosecuted more than 1,700 low-level drug possession cases. More than $2 million in court-imposed debt was levied on people who were charged in these cases.
City officials say its vast network of cameras are simply a tool when responding to 911 calls and complaints of criminal activity. But several cases suggest the system serves an additional purpose.
With Caroline Isaacs of the American Friends Service Committee
Chicago hands out millions in settlements and legal fees for police misconduct. Its newly inaugurated mayor should take a dollar from the department’s budget for every dollar the city spends settling with its victims.
Newly released records show that task force members faced allegations of theft and questionable overtime, all under the watch of a commander later fired for lying as the misconduct was investigated.
Prisoners can shave time off their sentences by participating in shock incarceration programs. More than a dozen former shock prisoners say that comes at a steep cost.
Trooper testimony inconsistent with video and misconduct among state and local law enforcement in New Hampshire and Massachusetts have caused at least 15 drug cases to unravel.
In a case of mistaken identity, Jada Noone was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police, spent 15 days in jail and faced a felony drug case before charges were dismissed. She’s now suing over her false arrest.
After a drug bust involving Houston narcotics officer Gerald Goines turned deadly, questions are being raised about how he operated during his time on the force.
New bills would expand access to medical marijuana, but the state’s sheriffs’ association promises to fight even such modest legislation.
A Florida woman with substance use disorder allegedly brokered a drug sale that ended in a fatal overdose; she faces 15 years in prison.
A notoriously unreliable roadside drug test administered by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies led to Dasha Fincher being charged with methamphetamine trafficking.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s promise to decline to prosecute several offenses is a rejection of the punitive tradition of prosecutors and perhaps signals a new kind of reform that spurns criminal justice as a solution to public health problems.
In May 2016, 26-year-old Caleb Smith was prepping for medical school entry exams, and ordered what he thought was Adderall off the internet to help him study. After the package arrived at his home in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, his girlfriend, 26-year-old Amanda Leach, asked to try some. Smith obliged, and days later, Leach was found dead […]
Public health advocates are concerned that ‘Kristen’s Law,’ meant to punish drug dealers, will criminalize users and fail to stem the opioid crisis.
Grassroots group VOCAL-NY is teaching people with substance use disorder how to avoid getting ensnared in the criminal justice system.
Groups like the Loop and DanceSafe test drugs like Ecstasy and warn users of high dosages and adulterants, but federal legislation from the early 2000s has live music promoters wary of their brand of harm reduction.
York County resident Aaron Hinds overdosed on heroin with a friend. The friend died, and Hinds now faces a ‘drug delivery resulting in death’ charge and a 40-year prison sentence.
A new paper argues that President Johnson’s 1967 Commission on Law Enforcement’s report on the subject was “decades ahead of its time.”