INTERACTIVE: State-by-State Drug Law Reform

By Joe Gullo

Published 04/23 2014 01:50PM

Updated 04/23 2014 02:39PM

The Vera Institute of Justice looked at drug law reform across the country. 

According to the Vera Institute of Justice, from 2009 to 2013, more than 30 states passed nearly 50 bills reforming how their criminal justice systems define and enforce drug offenses. 

Click on a state to see how they reformed their drug laws. Blue highlighted states have changed their drug laws, states in gray have not.

  • Repeal or limit mandatory penalties.
  • Modify drug sentencing schemes: A state adjust the number of penalty levels, issues probation for certain drug offenses, and legalizes, decriminalizes, or lower penalties for small amounts of marijuana.
  • Expand Access to early release mechanisms: Reduce their sentence for good behavior or drug treatment program participation.
  • Expand or strengthen community-based sanctions: Laws increase deferred prosecution options for drug defendants, expand community-based drug sentencing options, and increase the use of incentives for drug offenders to reduce offense class (felony to misdemeanor) for successfully completing a drug program, or broaden availability of drug treatment programs.
  • Ameliorate collateral consequences: Laws that expand options for sealing or expunging criminal records or limit restrictions on state licenses and benefits. 
Read the full report.

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