Today Attorney General Eric Holder announced some substantial changes in how low-level drug offenders are prosecuted, overriding pre-existing federal laws that impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses. Carl Hart, professor of psychology at Columbia University and a drug researcher. Neill Franklin, a former Maryland state police officer at the Baltimore Police Department and the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, also joins us to discuss the change.
According to new federal data, about half of all drug arrests in 2011 and 2010 were for marijuana use. But even though usage rates for marijuana are similar among whites and blacks, black Americans, according to this data, were nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. Carl Hart is professor of psychology at Columbia University and drug researcher.
Drug researcher Carl Hart argues that the ongoing war on drugs continues to disproportionately hurt the black community, while ignoring bigger societal woes like poverty and high school drop out rates. Hart discusses the problems with current drug policies and how they should be changed.