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Vice

Max Daly

1 February 2021

New York, New York, United States

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From 2009 through 2019, street arrests for drug possession and sales fell by 80% in New York City, sparing hundreds of thousands of people harsh incarceration terms while defying warnings that more lenient enforcement...

Poynter

Amaris Castillo

25 January 2021

Mexico

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The Cartel Project formed an international team of journalists that produced a five-part series on the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez. The series also explored the subjects that Martinez's killers attemp...

The New York Times

Ian Austen

23 January 2021

Canada

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Since Canada legalized recreational use of marijuana two years ago, prosecutions for possession of small amounts of the drug have all but disappeared, erasing a major racial disparity in Canadian law enforcement. But ...

Next City

Roshan Abraham

5 January 2021

Portugal

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After Portugal decriminalized hard drugs in 2001 to treat drug use as a health problem and not a crime, the country expanded treatment services that produced sharp drops in drug-overdose deaths and HIV infections. Its...

The Philadelphia Citizen

Courtney Duchene

22 December 2020

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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When Pennsylvania's largest medical-marijuana dispensary, TerraVida Holistic Centers, struggled to find enough employees, given the state's ban on the industry's employment of people with marijuana convictions, TerraV...

Stateline

Christine Vestal

18 December 2020

United States

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Rules changes designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at drug-treatment clinics had the benefit of improving access to treatment, which experts say has saved thousands of lives. Although overdose deaths have increa...

The Boston Globe

Dan Adams

2 November 2020

United States

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Drug courts can help some people with serious drug problems who face serious criminal charges, if such court programs are run carefully, based on evidence-based approaches. But, too often, such courts – which push cri...

BBC

Rebecca Kesby

19 October 2020

Portugal

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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When Portugal became the first country to decriminalize personal possession and use of small amounts of drugs, choosing to shift to treating drug abuse as a health rather than a criminal matter, the feared downside of...

Vice

Max Daly

16 October 2020

United Kingdom

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Four UK police forces have adopted drug-decriminalization policies over the past five years, diverting hundreds of cases toward treatment and harm-reduction counseling, and away from criminal convictions, fines, and i...

Capital Daily

Chloe Rose Stuart-Ulin

11 September 2020

Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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Legalized marijuana sales in Canada were supposed to make the industry safe, stable, and prosperous. But the rollout of licenses for pre-existing private dispensaries has turned into a debacle for small businesses in ...

Yes! Magazine

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

14 August 2020

Cherokee, North Carolina, United States

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reacted to COVID-19 with aggressive measures that yielded fewer illnesses than in neighboring counties, and no deaths, all without outside help. But one of their preventive measure...

Las Vegas Optic

Ryan Lowery

4 June 2020

Alamosa, Colorado, United States

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The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Alamosa, Colorado, gives police officers the option of sending people to substance abuse treatment rather than straight into the criminal justice system. Used i...

Columbia Missourian

Sarah Haselhorst

17 December 2019

Columbia, Missouri, United States

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In Boone County, Missouri the Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy (HEAT) program offers young men an alternative to incarceration for drug-related offenses. The program works primarily with black men, many...

The Marshall Project

Cary Aspinwall

4 November 2019

Taft, Oklahoma, United States

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More than 500 people in Oklahoma had their drug possession felony sentences commuted after voters approved an initiative that changed some drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The commutation led to...

Desert Sun

Melissa Daniels

10 October 2019

Desert Hot Springs, California, United States

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California-based cannabis company, Canndescent, has taken many steps toward low-carbon sustainability in its operations. The company uses commercial-scale solar energy, reverse-mounted ceiling fans, and microburst irr...

70 Million

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

16 September 2019

Alamosa, Colorado, United States

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Over 15 Minutes

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Two southern Colorado counties responded differently when drug abuse, poverty, and mental illness contributed to overcrowding in their old, decrepit jails. Pueblo County's sheriff has gone to voters three times seekin...

Reasons to be Cheerful

Carlyn Zwarenstein

24 August 2019

Porto, Portugal

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Since introducing both the decriminalization of a range of substances like heroin and cocaine and new harm-reduction strategies in 2001, Portugal has seen success in driving down HIV cases, overdoses, and needle shari...

The Montgomery Advertiser

Andrew J. Yawn

21 June 2019

Florida, United States

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The United States has continuously put resources towards fighting the war on drugs, but a recent research collaborative that resulted in a comprehensive model has shown that there is a lot to be learned from the failu...

BBC

Kathleen Hawkins

Hannah McNeish

18 June 2019

Portugal

Radio

Over 15 Minutes

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In 2001, facing a 20-year opioid epidemic, Portugal decriminalized all personal drug use, meaning people carrying drugs for personal use could no longer face prosecution or jail. The approach, met with public support,...

Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Austen Bundy

16 April 2019

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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In 2018, Baltimore passed a harm-reduction bill that allowed the distribution of fentanyl testing strips to assess if fentanyl has been laced into drugs. The decriminalization of these follow similar harm reduction tr...

New Hampshire Bar News

Melanie Plenda

29 March 2019

New Hampshire, United States

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New Hampshire has adopted a hub and spoke model to addressing substance abuse, funneling funds into a variety of directed, diverse approaches. In doing so, it has expanded training, increased communication and collabo...

Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Julian Hernandez

6 March 2019

Nogales, Arizona, United States

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On the United States’ southern border, law enforcement are changing how they address drug overdoses. In places like Nogales, AZ, police are taking a public engagement approach, seeking to work with citizens to prevent...

Albuquerque Journal

Ryan Boetel

11 February 2019

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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The Albuquerque Police Department is rolling out a new program that aims to get people the help they need rather than place them in jail where they are likely to relapse. Similar to programs already working in other s...

North Carolina Health News

Taylor Knopf

21 January 2019

Switzerland

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By prioritizing treatment over law enforcement, Switzerland dramatically reduced its drug problem. In 1994, the country adopted a progressive policy to treat heroin addiction as a public health crisis, focusing on har...

BBC

Jeremy Cooke

8 January 2019

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Video

5-15 Minutes

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Rather than treat opioid users like criminals, Vancouver has deemed it a public health crisis. The city, especially its downtown east side, witnessed 1,500 deaths in just one year from opioid use. Its approach is uniq...

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