"Until decriminalization has been achieved," the report states, "we urge officials to take strong measures to minimize and mitigate the harmful consequences of existing laws and policies. The costs of the status quo, as this report shows, are too great to bear."
Why is this a big deal?
The ACLU and HRW aren't some rinky-dink activist groups with names like "Druggies United." They're huge human rights groups with international influence, and they've essentially said that the War on Drugs, declared during the Nixon administration, is backwards and wrong.
So, yeah. Those years in D.A.R.E. were a waste -- the ACLU says so!
Jails are filled with drug offenders
To get an idea of just how aggressive police are in catching drug offenders, someone is arrested for possession every 25 seconds in the US, according to the report. This amounts to 1.25 million arrests a year, and approximately 137,000 people are in jail for drug possession on any given day.