by Caren Chesler / NJ Spotlight
As U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was unveiling policy changes this summer that would cut the amount of time a nonviolent drug offender spends in federal prison, New Jersey was readying its own initiative to fight drug crime — an expansion of the state’s drug court program, in which drug offenders are sent into treatment rather than jail.
The two initiatives showed that while Democrats and Republicans seem to be world’s apart these days, there’s one thing on which they agree: the war on drugs has been lost.
As Gov. Chris Christie signed the drug court legislation last year, he criticized the draconian drug laws passed in the wake of the crack cocaine epidemic, saying they did nothing more than warehouse people in state prisons.
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