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NCJ Number: 200584 Find in a Library
Title: ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project Report of Activities, 2002
Author(s): Fatema Gunja
Corporate Author: ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project
United States of America
Date Published: March 2003
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project
New Haven, CT 06511
Sale Source: ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project
85 Willow Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States of America
Type: Report (Annual/Periodic)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This 2002 report on the activities of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Drug Policy Litigation Project (DPLP) focuses on the project's efforts to address civil-rights and civil-liberties violations that have arisen from the "war on drugs."
Abstract: Founded in January 1999, the DPLP conducts the only national litigation program that addresses civil-rights and civil-liberties violations in drug-related cases. The DPLP has litigated cases in Federal courts that have focused on drug testing, electronic music culture, government programs, harm-reduction, medical marijuana, racial justice, religious freedom, and voting rights. The DPLP also provides legal support to ACLU drug reform efforts at the local, State, and national levels. Even prior to the establishment of the DPLP, the ACLU has been an outspoken critic of the war on drugs since the Reagan administration renewed efforts to counter illicit drug abuse at the cost of civil liberties in the early 1980's. The ACLU opposes the criminal prohibition of drugs, largely because it has been a failure and subjects otherwise law-abiding citizens to arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment for what they do in private. Moreover, African-Americans and Latinos are disproportionately victimized by the war on drugs, although they do not use or traffic in drugs at higher rates than other Americans. Harm to oneself, believes the ACLU, should not be punished, only harm to others. This report focuses on DPLP litigation activities that have involved issues of race and poverty, public health, youth, and civil liberties in the context of the war on drugs. Activities under the issues of race and poverty pertain to drug sweeps, racial profiling, the focus on public housing as sites of drug use, welfare drug testing, welfare reform, sentencing reform, and felony re-enfranchisement. Public health issues include medical marijuana, needle exchange, and ballot initiatives. Issues that have involved youth include school anti-drug measures, anti-rave initiatives, financial aid for education, and speakers' bureau. Civil liberties issues have focused on drug zones, religious freedom, workplace drug testing, and search and seizure. Media coverage and funding for DPLP activities are also discussed.
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Drug testing; Drug-free school zones; Employee drug testing; Medical uses of marijuana; Needle/syringe exchange programs; Profiling; Racial discrimination; Religious freedom; School searches; Search and seizure; Sentencing reform
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