Journalist and Blogger

I'm a journalist based in NYC. I write about social justice, politics, policy, the criminal justice system, and whatever else catches my eye.

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Hundreds of Economists: Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions

Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America.......

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Without a Card to Play, Texas Grandma Sentenced to Life Without Parole for First-Time Drug Offense

Texans can sleep more soundly at night knowing that Elisa Castillo, a grandmother and nonviolent first-time drug offender, is serving a life without parole sentence in Fort Worth. Yes, you read that right — the latest casualty of our War on Drugs is a grandmother who never even......

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Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

Tasers subject their victims to a 50,000 volt shock followed by 100 microsecond pulses of 1,200 volts.   Since 2001, more than 500 people in the United States have died after law enforcement officers used this weapon against them. A study published this week by the America......

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Treating Addiction as a Disease, not a Crime

Rebecca McCray Like many who suffer from addiction, Cameron Douglas’ path to recovery has not been without setbacks. Currently incarcerated in federal prison on a fiv......

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Lying to Eat

People lie for lots of reasons. We fabricate little stories to protect the feelings of friends, exclude details for the sake of convenience, and occasionally tell destructive tales to conceal our more sizeable missteps. Dishonesty, in its various incarnations, is not an admirable t......


Check Your Constitutional Rights at the Classroom Door? Not on Our Watch.

The ruling is in: Linn State Technical College’s mandatory drug-testing policy is patently unconstitutional, and will not stand. After a seven-hour hearing Tuesday, Judge Nanette K. Laughrey of the Western District of Missouri granted our preliminary injunction against the pu......

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As The "Drug Testing Dragnet" Widens, The Poor Continue to be Swept In

Heads up: mandatory, suspicionless drug testing is not just about violating your Fourth Amendment rights anymore. According to a recent in-depth look at what journalist Isabel MacDonald calls...

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Weekly Highlights: News from the War on Drugs

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United States, and has contributed to making Am......



Jun 1, 2013 ... report; Rebecca McCray, paralegal, ACLU, and Kate Larkin, administrative assistant,. ACLU, for their editorial assistance; and Nicole Kief, ......