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Drug war policies: Jeff Sessions orders tougher drug crime charges

  • Mr Sessions’s memo constitutes the first big criminal justice effort by the Trump administration to get tough on drugs.
  • And on April 5th, Mr Sessions released a memo explaining that his new Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety will “undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities.”
  • But the evidence on marijuana points in the opposite direction: thanks to medical marijuana laws that have legalised the drug, fewer people are getting killed in the drug trade.
  • They suggest drugs cartels are losing out to legal competition in the marijuana market and are trying to make up for lost profits through raising prices on other product lines—depressing demand as a result.
  • Research by Hefei Wen from Emory University and colleagues into the effect of medical marijuana laws suggests they increase consumption of the drug.

IN 2013, Eric Holder, then the attorney-general, issued a memo telling prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants—such as non-violent offenders who were not members of drug gangs—with offences that would hand them long prison sentences.

@TheEconomist: Sessions argues that the legalisation of drugs leads to violent crime. The evidence on marijuana shows the opposite

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Drug war policies: Jeff Sessions orders tougher drug crime charges

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