Drug War Backlash
The last thing we need in these economic times is to waste resources putting in jail people who have medical problems and need treatment. It would save money, time, and opportunity cost. New York State is looking to roll back the Rockefeller drug laws that have not made the streets safer and serve only to create a permanent underclass.
The Times reports Sheldon Silver says "the stars are aligned" (translation: the votes are in the bag) for Bill A06085, which would restore judges' discretion in sentencing and allow minor drug offenders to get supervised treatment instead of lengthy prison terms. The vote's today and the state senate will conference tonight; if it goes through, Governor Paterson is expected to sign. When that great day comes, we're gonna run out and score a dime bag to celebrate.
This may not help David Paterson get re-elected, but it would certainly make the world a little better place. Drug offenders in jail only leads to more repeat drug offenders. Drug offenders in treatment can lead to a return to productive society. Between this and the Justice Department stopping the raids of medical marijuana outlets in California, you're finally starting to see a backlash to the drug wars. They haven't worked and need a reboot.