Can judges work with psychiatrists to help solve mass incarceration?
Hailed as the most compassionate way for the criminal justice system to deal with addicts, drug courts were designed to balance punishment with rehabilitation. But after 25 years, the verdict is in: Drug courts embolden judges to practice medicine without a license—and they put lives in danger.
Too often, Americans with painful medical conditions who misuse pain pills like Oxycontin are denied further treatment and even prosecuted. There are more effective, enlightened responses—as the U.K. has shown for decades.
We're winning: More progress has been made toward enlightened drug policies and treatment in the past five years than in the previous 25. Here's an advocacy agenda to take us even closer to the future we need.
On December 17, 1914, Congress passed the Harrison Act, making non-medical opium and cocaine illegal. It was really about punishment, not public health. And it set the tone for a disastrous century.
For the paper of record, addiction is always about this drug or that drug rather than the real causes.
Journalist Mike Power broke the story of the drug revolution that the rest of the media largely ignores—he even created a drug of his own to prove it. He tells us how legal highs and the Internet are transforming use and challenging policy.
The mid-term elections prove that support for legalizing weed continues to grow. But progress has been rolled back before—it's important to remember how we got here if we're to keep moving forward.
Alcoholics Anonymous and the rest remain the biggest and most polarizing force in the addiction community. I quit heroin and cocaine using the steps and have covered addiction as a journalist—and I'd argue that the picture is decidedly mixed.
Colorado is displaying human-sized "lab rat cages" in an effort to warn teens off marijuana. Like most such attempts, it's a waste of money.
The paper of record has finally backed marijuana legalization. Yet it continues to fête drug warriors and stigmatize addiction.
There is clear evidence that the phrases "substance abuse" and "substance abuser" harm, as well as disparage, people with addiction. It's time to ditch these terms.
With the advent of marijuana legalization, alternatives to incarceration, harm reduction as treatment, and other rational approaches to addiction, 2014 could be an unprecedented turning point.