Not only has the war on drugs failed to make an impact in lowering the number of illegal narcotics used within the U.S., but in the process, the war on drugs has destroyed the lives of millions of families over the decades. The war on drugs has sent needless numbers of low-grade drug offenders to jail and prison for what most countries punish as misdemeanors or simply have no punishment at all. Unfortunately, the war on drugs just took another wrong turn in history with the overturning of the 2013 Holder Memo.
2013 Holder Memo
The U.S. imprisons more people than any other country. In fact, the U.S. has nearly one quarter of the world’s prisoners, but makes up just under five percent of the world’s population, according to the New York Times. This is due, in large part, to our criminal justice system’s flawed mandatory minimum sentencing for drug users and dealers. Instead of treating drug use as a health issue, it is criminalized to the point that addicted victims are spending decades behind bars. Thankfully, back in 2013, the war on drugs lessened its choke hold on the American public, to a small degree at least. The Holder Memo of 2013, named after then-Attorney General Eric Holder and issued to all assistant attorneys general in Washington and over 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys throughout the country, was meant to avoid inflicting long mandatory minimum sentences upon certain drug offenders. These defendants were able to qualify for lower prison sentences by meeting the memo’s set of criteria, such as not being a member of a gang or drug cartel or for not being a part of a large drug trafficking organization, for example. The Holder Memo was designed to keep the average offender from having to spend a lifetime in prison for a low-level, non-violent crime.
Trump Presidency to Kick Off Stricter Punishment for Low-Level Offenders
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently overturned the policies set by former Attorney General Eric Holder, according to the Washington Post. According to Sessions, “We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple. If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.” Unfortunately, most “drug traffickers” are simply low-income individuals who have become dependent upon a highly addictive substance, and in no way deserve to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
Call a West Palm Beach Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Immediately
The revamping of the war on drugs will also further devastate minority populations, who are more heavily policed than white communities, even though drug use and drug sales are even across all races within the U.S. However, there is hope even if you have been charged with a drug crime or are under investigation. An experienced attorney will fight for your innocence in court or can greatly reduce the sentencing you face through plea bargain. Call the West Palm Beach law offices of the Skier Law Firm at (561) 220-3355 today for help with your case.