The use of punishments such as incarceration for those involved in the illicit drug trade has long been relied upon a deterrent. However, it has resulted in the imposition of disproportionate sentencing (including the use of the death penalty) and overcrowded prisons, with high risks to health, social cohesion and human rights. Some countries and jurisdictions are now moving towards decriminalisation, alternatives to prison and the regulation of some markets.
Grass Is Greener is a new documentary that raises challenging questions about how the legacy of the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and racial injustice in the United States has influenced the country’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry.
Most states host some kind of syringe exchange program, but the laws providing legal protection tend to have loopholes. In Pennsylvania, someone with a syringe obtained from a program is safe in Philadelphia, a more liberal part of the state, but can be thrown into jail anywhere else.