DOJ: Don't Resurrect the War on Drugs

On May 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions distributed a memo to all Federal prosecutors requiring they pursue mandatory minimum sentences, following on a reshuffling of DOJ priorities to emphasize prosecution of drug, gun and gang violence crime. According to the ACLU, “Jeff Sessions is pushing federal prosecutors to reverse progress and repeat a failed experiment — the War on Drugs — that has devastated the lives and rights of millions of Americans, ripping apart families and communities and setting millions, particularly Black people and other people of color, on a vicious cycle of incarceration.” Former Attorney General Eric Holder simply stated it was “dumb on crime.” This change in policy places him at odds with liberals and conservatives alike such as Sens. Chuck Grassley and Rand Paul, the Koch Brothers, the ACLU, and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, as well as Eric Holder. Prioritizing heavy-handed prosecution of low level drug crimes means there are fewer resources to direct toward more serious and far-reaching crimes like public corruption. In particular, this will have a devastating effect on communities of color. "