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Friday, June 17, 2011

ACLU Says War on Drugs in Cuyahoga County a Waste of Time and Money

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 11:20 AM

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In the latest volley in the War on the War on Drugs, the ACLU unleashed a report detailing the staggering county-wide numbers (cost, arrests, incarcerations). Plus, it can be inferred, the War on Drugs is a total vibe-harsher.

“Overcharging, Overspending, Overlooking: Cuyahoga County’s Costly War on Drugs,” via a press release, found that Cuyahoga County "accounts for 20% of all state prison admission," saying that the majority of these are for nickel and dime drug offenses. More troubling, the study claims that while whites and blacks use drugs at approximately the same rate, blacks, specifically those in the inner city, end up being arrested more by a far and wide margin. Specifically, it says, "The study shows that whites from suburbs are more likely to be offered rehabilitation and diversion programs, and are 45% more likely to receive a plea deal from prosecutors."

ACLU of Ohio Policy Director Shakyra Diaz said in the release: "Cuyahoga County illustrates why the war on drugs has been a failure—it’s costly, ineffective, and unfair. While the effects of the war on drugs can be felt nationwide, we must start by addressing the problems in greater Cleveland. Local officials should start by expanding the availability of diversion programs, and ensure everyone has equal access to them.”

More data is available in the full report if you want to dig further. Or, ya know, you can fire one up and sit on the porch on this beautiful Friday. Just make sure it's the back porch.

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