Casualties of the War on Drugs

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Media Outlet: The Huffington Post

The Justice department will begin releasing inmates who committed nonviolent drug crimes at the end of this month. This decision comes off the heels of President Obama's July decision to commute the sentences of 46 drug offenders. Releases will be timed, and the former offenders will be subjected to a transitional period that includes the oversight of probation offices and, in some cases, time spent at halfway houses. The type of drug offenses vary in these cases, but certainly some of them involve the possession and sale of marijuana. Rapidly changing public opinion and government policy on the use and possession of marijuana will lead to shifts in how marijuana consumption and distribution are "policed" in the United States.

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Donna A. Patterson is a fellow with New America’s International Security program. Patterson is an associate professor of history and director of Africana Studies at Delaware State University.