Last Tuesday, the New York City Council voted to stop testing probationers for marijuana use. The move is a reminder that even as states hammer out rules to legalize use—as New York is working through right now—remnants of the drug war have left a large population of Americans subject to the draconian measures of post-prison supervision.
There are more than 4.5 million people on probation or parole in the U.S., nearly twice the number of people behind bars at any given time. All of these folks are subject to incarceration if they violate the terms of their supervised release, and in most places, a prohibition on using cannabis products may be one of those terms.
“Marijuana is a big issue when it comes to parole, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg” explains Tyler Nims, the