Saturday, January 4, 2014

Because the state that incarcerated the victims of the drug war should give them a second chance

Several legislators including Rep. Paul Baumbach are sponsoring HB 167, which would require the State not to inquire about prior criminal records until after a job applicant has gone through the interview process and been made a tentative job offer.

The bill contains appropriate exemptions for police forces and public education.

Given that there are literally thousands of Delawareans arrested each year for non-violent drug offenses, and that the State routinely excludes these folks from all job competition, this is a measure whose time has come.

It's also true that everybody who has done their time deserves that second chance.

I would encourage (but would never force) the private sector to consider a similar standard.

I'm not sure how the sponsors see this bill, but I see it as a necessary first step toward the eventual decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in Delaware, and an eventual admission that the Drug War was one of the greatest policy disasters in American History.