New York Legislators Don’t Understand Meaning of’Reform’

June 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

Some state senators in New York don’t understand the recent reforms of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Instead, they are referring to them as the ‘Drug Dealer Protection Act’.

Of course, this is completely absurd. The reforms simply removed mandatory minimum sentences which limit judicial power. Of course, judges still have the power to sentence people to long, harsh terms in prison – they just also now have the power not to sentence them when they deem it inappropriate. It’s the way most aspects the judicial process work – for some reason, some people like to think drug policy should be treated differently. (Of course, some people also think that drug possession should not be treated as a criminal issue in the first place, but that’s a separate matter).

The Drug Policy Alliance has set up a very quick form through  which you can let New York legislators know that the public opposes reversing these reforms. Full text of the email from gabriel sayegh appears after the jump.

Dear _____,

They’re spreading misinformation about the recent reforms to New York’s Rockefeller Drug Laws.

While the State Senate remains deadlocked in confusion, the powerful district attorney’s association is trying to stir up press attention by calling this April’s hard-won reforms the “Drug Dealer Protection Act” and calling for repeals of critical aspects of the program.

The good news is that this smear campaign poses no credible threat to our reform of the draconian laws. Reforms like eliminating most mandatory minimum prison terms and expanding drug treatment and alternatives to incarceration are in no danger of being repealed. Yet.

The bad news is that right now, our opponents’ misinformation campaign has supporters in the legislature – politicians who didn’t support the reforms in the first place. We can’t afford to let their cynical opposition erode the progress we’ve made.

We need to set the record straight and you can help: Let Albany know that a majority of New Yorkers support the Rockefeller reforms and want to keep them in place. Send your letter today.

With your help, we can make sure New York never goes back to its failed drug war policies of the past.


gabriel sayegh

Director, State Organizing and Policy Project

Drug Policy Alliance Network

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