Another action by President Obama that I approve of: reduced sentencing for non-violent offenders. In general I think we'd benefit greatly by ending prohibition on most drugs, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Drug prohibition is really seeking to solve two linked but separate problems: drug addition, and drug violence. Unfortunately prohibition exacerbates violence by creating a black market for drugs.

"A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities," Holder plans to say Monday, ­according to excerpts of his ­remarks that were provided to The Washington Post. "However, many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate this problem rather than alleviate it."

Holder is calling for a change in Justice Department policies to reserve the most severe penalties for drug offenses for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers. He has directed his 94 U.S. attorneys across the country to develop specific, locally tailored guidelines for determining when federal charges should be filed and when they should not.

"Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason," Holder plans to say. "We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation."

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