Drug Violence

Stephen Colbert: Want to Get Elected? Try Marijuana Reform!

Elected officials take notice: support for drug policy reform, and even legalizing marijuana, is no detriment on the campaign trail -- and in fact it can be a key asset to electoral success. Last night The Colbert Report picked up on a trend that has bubbled up in the past year -- candidates are winning elections by supporting drug policy reform.

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Florida Prisoners Serving 194% More Time For Drugs Than In 1990s

Florida inmates convicted of non-violent drug crimes spent 194 percent more time behind bars in 2009 than they did in 1990, costing the state billions of dollars but providing little public safety benefit, a new study found. The study, by the Pew Center on the States, examined trends in 35 states that provided data on incarceration for inmates convicted of violent crimes, property crimes and drug offenses. It found that nationally, state inmates across all categories of offenses served an average of nine additional months in custody, a rise of 36 percent since 1990.

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Mexico Police Kidnapping Caught On Video

There it was on video: Five heavily armed policemen barge into a hotel in western Mexico before dawn and march out with three handcuffed men in underwear. But police weren't making an arrest. Prosecutors say they apparently were taking orders from criminals. Just hours after the three were seized, they were found asphyxiated and beaten to death. Mexicans have become inured to lurid tales of police collaboration with narcotics gangs during 5 1/2 years of a drug war that has cost more than 47,500 lives.

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Illinois Traffic Stop Raises Concerns About Drug Searches, Police Dogs

Last December, filmmaker Terrance Huff and his friend Jon Seaton were returning to Ohio from St. Louis. As they drove through a small town in Illinois, a police officer pulled Huff's over for an alleged unsafe lane change. Over the next hour, the police officer interrogated the two men, employing a variety of police tactics aimed at tricking them into giving up their Fourth Amendment rights. Fortunately, this was all recorded.

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