Each year, many Texans are arrested for possessing drugs. While the Department of Justice has announced a renewed focus on drug crimes, arrests had not fallen off before the current administration. One consistent theme with drug possession arrests is that they do not help to curb drug abuse and actually cause more social problems.
On Sept. 22, it was reported that a Texas pilot who pleaded guilty to drug charges was sentenced to three years in federal prison. The Department of Justice said that the Austin pilot was caught transporting at least 200 pounds of marijuana from Oregon to Texas.
On Sept. 8, a Texas man was taken into custody after he was accused of transporting cocaine between Austin and Houston. Authorities had reportedly known about the 38-year-old man and had been receiving information about his role in a potential drug trafficking organization for some time.
On Aug. 28, a Texas judge sentenced two people on charges associated with a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Four others who had been accused of having roles in the conspiracy were sentenced earlier in August after pleading guilty in April.
The president's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, appears not to be ready to crack down on marijuana in an effort to reduce violent crime. Although its recommendations have not been made public, the Associated Press associated portions of them. The group has instead urged caution on making big changes to federal marijuana policy, especially when it comes to challenging states' rights to decriminalize the drug.
The presidential Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is meant to focus on the prevention and reduction of violent crime. To accomplish that, however, it appears it may be reconsidering federal marijuana policy, even as it stands in regards to states' rights.
For decades, we have been told that coming down hard on all drug offenders is the best way to win the so-called War on Drugs. We have been reassured that the threat of mandatory minimum sentences and aggressive prosecution is necessary to keep people safe from the dangers of illicit drugs.
There are about 190,000 people in federal prison, and sadly, this number could be growing again after years of decline. The anticipated growth comes in response to a recent announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has reversed the course of action regarding federal criminal charges and use of mandatory minimums.
There is a stigma that comes with being arrested and convicted of a drug crime. People often assume that someone in this position is irresponsible, dangerous and likely has a criminal history.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking that they will only face penalties for a crime if they are convicted of one. These people fail to recognize the consequences that come with simply being accused of criminal activity or even associated with it.