Alison Holcomb, who has been called the architect of marijuana legalization in Washington state, and who is criminal justice director of ACLU Washington, has been named national director of the ACLU Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, according to a release from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Holcomb wrote Initiative 502, the measure that legalized recreational marijuana in Washington state, and led the successful campaign to pass it.
Holcomb had been publicly mulling a city council run against Socialist Alternative incumbent Kshama Sawant, but recent polling reveals Sawant to be in a much stronger position than the establishment types imagined. This new job is a much better fit for Holcomb, and if successful, more impactful:
“We’ve had 40 years of widening the criminal justice net too far and have relied too heavily on punishment to address social and health problems,” Holcomb said in the release. “We’ve drained coffers and cut people off from jobs, housing, and family stability – the very things they need to succeed in society.”
More than 2.2 million adults are in the nation’s jails and prisons, according to the ACLU. The organization says it hopes to cut the nation’s adult jail and prison population numbers in half by 2020.
Congratulations, Alison, and best of luck.