Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 2015
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2015 The Washington Post Company
Author: Julie Stewart


In his Oct. 15 op-ed column, "A bipartisan marijuana myth," Charles 
Lane described the growing bipartisan support for looser drug laws as 
"the latest political free lunch, served up by politicians who would 
rather discuss anything except real public policy trade-offs."

Over the past decade, numerous states have made very real trade-offs 
in their approaches to fighting crime. During this period, dozens of 
red and blue states decided to spend less money incarcerating 
nonviolent drug offenders and to use the savings on drug treatment 
and other programs aimed at reducing the likelihood that prisoners 
would re-offend. In nearly every case, these states were able to cut 
both their incarceration and their crime rates.

Far from offering a free lunch, presidential candidates from both 
parties are proposing that the federal government heed these happy 
results and seek to replicate this successful approach in Washington. 
They should be applauded, not criticized, for doing so.

Julie Stewart, Washington

The writer is president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom