War on Drugs

Drug Policy

War on Drugs

Our nation’s misguided and costly "War on Drugs" has undermined civil liberties in many ways — eroding protections against unlawful searches and seizures, imposing overly harsh sentences on individuals, disproportionately impacting communities of color. The ACLU of Washington Drug Policy Project works for policies that treat drug use as a public health concern, not a criminal justice matter, through public education, legislative advocacy, and litigation.
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Courts should review harsh sentences from ill-conceived drug laws
Lead: Law enforcement assisted diversion

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Skamania County Superior Court Judge E. Thompson Reynolds today sentenced a seriously ill medical marijuana patient to 60 days of electronic home detention, despite the fact that she had her doctor’s written recommendation for medical marijuana. The sentence for Sharon Tracy came after the Washington Supreme Court in November 2006 had rejected her doctor’s written recommendation for medical marijuana because the doctor was licensed in another state. Tracy, who is on public assistance, was also ordered to pay $3,000 in appeal costs plus the costs of her home detention.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
One of the most insidious features of the War on Drugs has been government seizures and closures of the property of people who are not involved in illegal activities. The Washington Court of Appeals dealt these practices a setback when it ruled in April, 2000 that the state’s drug nuisance abatement law was unconstitutional as applied to Oscar's II, a Seattle nightclub.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU is working with advocacy organizations, the criminal defense bar, and law enforcement to devise community-based treatment and services for drug users and people with mental illness.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Washington Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that the City of Seattle’s program of requiring urine tests of successful applicants for employment violates the state constitution.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Washington Supreme Court found unanimously that requiring students to undergo drug testing without suspicion of wrongdoing violates the state constitution.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
A bill was introduced in the Senate today to bar government forfeiture and sale of a person's property unless the person has been convicted of a crime.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
On October 2, 2008, the Department of Health adopted a rule defining a "60-day supply" of medical marijuana. It specifies that a qualifying patient or designated provider "may possess a total of no more than twenty-four ounces of usable marijuana, and no more than fifteen plants." It makes no distinction between mature and immature plants.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In a precedent-setting case, the Washington Court of Appeals has temporarily put a halt to Wahkiakum School District’s program of suspicionless urine testing for student athletes.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Travel writer Rick Steves has been nominated for an EMMY Award for hosting the ACLU-WA's "Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation.” The half-hour television program examines the history and current impacts of marijuana laws.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington strongly supports the availability of professional methadone treatment and other opiate substitution programs in all communities where residents suffer from addiction to heroin and other opiates.

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