Mandatory minimums

MINIMUM PROGRESS: The Justice Department's decision to end the practice of pursuing so-called "mandatory minimum" sentencing for low-level/nonviolent drug offenders is receiving praise from Democrats and Republicans alike. Lava head and music-biz veteran Jason Flom, who has devoted much of his philanthropic work to combating the inequities created by the drug war, is warily optimistic, noting that while the decision is long overdue, the administration's "follow-through" has been spotty. Still, he says, this is a welcome burst of common-sense policy in an area usually clouded by ideology. "It's a small step," he says, "but an encouraging one." We discuss these issues (but mostly his work in the music biz) in an upcoming Q&A; in the meantime, you can check out an editorial on the drug war's "terminal stupidity" that Flom published on this site by going here. (8/13a)

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