Campaigners celebrated the first “dramatic” results from Middlesbrough’s scheme, which found a vast reduction in re-offending rates and use of street drugs, and significant improvements in participants’ health and quality of life, including seeing those homeless at the outset placed in accommodation.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation on Thursday that decriminalizes marijuana possession, joining a majority of states that have ceased treating the drug as a criminal offense.
The nation’s imprisonment rate is at its lowest level in more than two decades. The greatest decline has come among black Americans, whose imprisonment rate has decreased 34% since 2006.
Cannabis has long been illegally farmed in the fertile Bekaa Valley and government now hopes to turn it into a legal billion-dollar trade
The move, which comes years after California voters legalized weed, reverses decades of drug enforcement that disproportionately targeted people of color — who then faced barriers in finding housing and jobs and enrolling in school.
Illinois’ governor granted more than 11,000 pardons for low-level marijuana convictions, describing the step as a first wave of thousands of such expungements.
“I am proud to sign one of the most progressive expungement laws in the nation, which will allow more New Jerseyans the opportunity to fully engage in our society,” Murphy said.
“When someone cannot get their foot in the door to compete for a job, it is bad for business and bad for communities that need access to economic opportunity,” said JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.
Eight major banks have announced their commitment to ending their support of the immigration detention center and private prison industry.
The legislation is being hailed as a major victory for criminal justice reform because it removes the profit motive from incarceration.