WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) yesterday reintroduced the Reclassification to Ensure Smarter and Equal Treatment Act of 2015, known as the RESET Act. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would reclassify specific low-level, non-violent drug possession felonies as misdemeanors, eliminate the distinction between crack and powder cocaine for sentencing, and ensure that food products containing drugs are weighed fairly. Rep. Ellison sponsors the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The RESET Act will end the worst sentencing injustices for non-violent offenses in our criminal justice system. It will more closely align punishment with the severity of the offense and make it possible for someone to get a second chance after a non-violent youthful mistake, instead of a lifetime punishment,” Sen. Paul said.
“Today, our flawed criminal justice system imposes harsh punishments for non-violent, low-level drug crimes, creating a destructive cycle of recidivism that impacts those in our most vulnerable communities. The RESET Act helps fix some of the problems facing our justice system by ensuring punishments for low-level crimes are fair. By making these commonsense changes, we can make sure resources are directed toward violent criminals and give petty offenders a better chance at becoming productive members of society,” said Sen. Schatz.
“The failed war on drugs is designed to keep entire communities in a cycle of debt and poverty,” Rep. Ellison said. “1.5 million African American men are missing from society due in large part to our broken criminal justice system. We need to bring the punishment for non-violent and low-level drug offenses back into proportion with similar crimes.”
Click HERE to read the RESET Act of 2015 in its entirety.