Rockefeller Drug Laws Dealt a Blow

March 4, 2009 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

Today, the New York State Assembly approved a bill that represents an important step towards eventual repeal of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. According to the New York Times, the bill ‘restore[s] judges’ discretion in many lower-level drug-possession crimes that are felonies by eliminating laws that require a prosecutor’s consent before judges can send certain felons to drug treatment instead of prison.’

While a complete overhaul of the Rockefeller laws still requires more work, this is an important step. New York Governor Paterson has already committed himself to overturning the laws.

To get involved in reform of these laws, sign the Drop the Rock petition. You can also print out copies of the petition for others to sign as well.

This reform has received praise from many organizations. In the words of gabriel sayegh of the Drug Policy Alliance, ‘The general theme is [that] states are making greater efforts to divert people into treatment programs, and they’re starting to use prison not as a first resort but a secondary or last resort’.

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