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TAKE ACTION: Tell Gov Herbert: Utah is Ready for Drug Law Reform!

12 January 2015 Published in Legislative Work

Rally-for-justiceIt'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! 

Please take a moment NOW to write Governor Herbert, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and House Speaker Greg Hughes. Let them know that you support this very common-sense drug law change..

Right now, the Governor is hearing from law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys who say that this reform is not a good idea. That is why he needs to hear from YOU, too - you must let the Governor know that you are one of plenty of Utahns that think the Justice Reinvestment reforms - ALL of them! - will be a positive move forward for our state. 

It is also important to let Legislative leaders know that you support these reforms. 

Please take a moment NOW to write Governor Herbert, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and House Speaker Greg Hughesand let them know that you hope they will make "Justice Reinvestment" a priority this legislative session. 

Your leaders need to know that their fellow Utahns want to see REAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, including COMMON-SENSE DRUG LAW REFORM, happen in 2015! 

Make Your Voice Heard!
Join us on Feb 10, 12:00 pm, to 
at the Utah State Capitol

Tell Governor Herbert and other state leaders: "I support common sense drug law reforms that save Utah money and help - not hurt - people with substance abuse problems!"

P.S. To receive weekly updates about criminal justice issues and reform efforts in Utah, please send a request to ACLU of Utah Public Policy Advocate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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