February 10, 12:00 pm, South steps of the Utah State Capitol building, Salt Lake City.
Rally for Reform
4) Join us at noon on Tuesday, February 10, at the Utah State Capitol to RALLY FOR REFORM.
It's about time for Utah to start rolling back state drug laws that:
- Punish people with mental illness;
- Put people in prison when what they really need is help;
- Usually hurt communities of color the worst.
In just a couple of weeks, a very important bill will be introduced to the Utah State legislature. Proposed by the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and sponsored by Senator Stuart Adams and Representative Eric Hutchings, the "Justice Reinvestment" legislation will enact many moderate – but very significant - criminal justice reforms. You can read about all 18 recommendations here.
Already, state leaders are getting resistance - from county sheriffs and prosecuting attorneys - to recommendations to REDUCE DRUG-RELATED PENALTIES. One recommendation, in particular, could help hundreds of drug-addicted people:
1) not forcing them to serve time in prison just to get drug treatment
2) not branding them "drug felons" for the rest of their lives.
This recommendation would change the penalty for simple drug possession from a Third Degree Felony (at least one to five years in prison) to a Class A Misdemeanor (up to one year in jail, and up to $2,500 in fines). Clearly, this is a far cry from de-criminalization...but it's a fair step in the right direction. The ACLU of Utah fully endorses this policy change, and we need YOU to endorse it, too!