Today (even with other stuff going on in the world) I’m pleased to announce a policy that—data shows—will save lives.

Specifically: we'll no longer charge criminal cases arising from the unauthorized use or possession of buprenorphine. The policy: washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter… /1
What’s buprenorphine? It’s a medicine that’s been proven to be *highly* effective at treating those who are physically dependent on opioids.

It makes it *significantly* more likely that people in recovery will avoid dying of an overdose. /2
Buprenorphine's been recognized by the State as the “gold standard” for treating opioid use disorder.

It remains, however, a controlled substance in Michigan, meaning that people can face felonies if they use it without a prescription, or share it with others in recovery. /3
And tragically, deterring people from using buprenorphine can have deadly consequences. If folks in recovery cannot access buprenorphine, they risk backsliding, and resuming use of more dangerous substances like heroin or fentanyl. /4
Against that backdrop, we are henceforth declining to charge unauthorized buprenorphine use/possession/small-scale sales.

This will save lives.

How do we know? Well, similar policies have saved lives elsewhere. /5
In Chittenden County, Vermont—hard-hit by the opioid epidemic—prosecutor @SarahFairVT has stopped bringing buprenorphine-related charges.

Not only have police reported no adverse consequences, fatal opioid overdoses fell by *fifty* percent. /6
Of course, buprenorphine should be taken as part of a treatment regimen. So large-scale, black-market distributors who help people evade such regimens for profit will still be prosecuted.

So, too, will those who create “designer drugs” mixing buprenorphine &, e.g. fentanyl. /7
As always, I’m pleased to have been advised on these policies by a team of experts and community members—here including medical & substance use professionals & law enforcement.

We will save lives in Washtenaw. Together. /fin

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More from @EliNSavit

14 Jan
Today, I’m announcing the Washtenaw Prosecutor’s Office will no longer prosecute consensual sex work. We'll focus on trafficking, sexual assault, victimization of kids. Our policy will facilitate prosecution of such crimes.

Please read our full policy: washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter… /1 Image
At the outset, I want to make this clear. Declining to prosecute sex work DOES NOT mean we won’t vigorously pursue—& prosecute—human trafficking, pimping, those who engage in sexual/physical assault against sex workers, or those who try to purchase sex from minors.

We will. /2 Image
Indeed, a key reason for today’s policy directive is that the criminalization of sex work *increases* violence & sexual assault—and makes it less likely to be reported.

If you fear that you’d face prosecution if you report an assault to police, you’re less likely to do so. /3 Image
Read 13 tweets
12 Jan
Today, I’m pleased to announce that we'll no longer be charging cases related to marijuana or entheogenic plants (naturally occurring psychedelics).

We'll also—categorically—be supporting expungement of old records relating to those substances, if someone’s legally eligible. /1
Let’s start with marijuana—or cannabis. As our policy outlines, it’s important to consider the history of the substance; the racially disparate effects of criminalization; its properties; & the current legal landscape.

You can read our directive here: washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter… /2
Some highlights: For much of U.S. history, cannabis was widely accepted, & was present in many medicines.

But anti-cannabis crusaders seized on anti-immigrant sentiment, rebranded it the Spanish word “marihuana,” & piggybacked on anti-Black racism to push criminalization. /3
Read 16 tweets
10 Jan
I've been thinking a lot about this. And I think Hawley's statement about how a private publisher's decision not to publish his book is "a direct assault on the First Amendment" is yet another indication of just how dangerous he really is.

He must be removed.

A thread. /1
To begin, Hawley knows this is wrong. The 1st Amendment doesn't apply to private publishers. This isn't a close call, or interesting issue. It's just straight wrong.

I'm not saying Hawley knows better 'cause he's got fancy degrees & clerkships. This is basic, basic stuff. /2
So he knows he's lying to people. Misleading them. To whip up anger. It's easily falsifiable. He knew he was lying--straight up--about the law. And he didn't care.

Why?

Because he thinks it serves him politically. He wants more and more and more power. /3
Read 8 tweets
23 Nov 20
Back-and-forth between GOP canvasser Norm Shinkle & @JonathanBrater, Michigan elections head.

Shinkle: Detroit city clerk is a "key witness" & asks if she was "summoned."

Brater: "She was invited."

Shinkle wants to make this a trial. But it's not. They have a duty to certify.
To be clear: the Board of Canvassers is not a tribunal with investigatory powers. There's no provision in law to "summon" someone to the state canvass--any more than you can "summon" someone to your house for a drink.

Shinkle's trying to turn this body into something it's not.
Now Michigan @GOP chair Laura Cox asks board to delay certification because "to remove the sense of distrust in the elections process."

She doesn't mention that that "sense of distrust" was willfully sowed--without any basis in reality--by the Republican Party & President Trump.
Read 6 tweets
27 Oct 20
I try not to hyperbolize here, but this is legitimately awful.

SCOTUS is laying groundwork to overturn the people’s will in the forthcoming election, & re-install President Trump.

The only way we prevent it is to win big.

The next 8 days will determine our future. Dig deep.
If you want to know WHY this is terrifying: the screenshots @LeahLitman linked suggest:

(1) it's (legally!) more important to determine a "winner" on Election Night than to actually count all ballots; and

(2) SCOTUS will overturn STATE court interpretations of STATE laws. /2
This means that SCOTUS could well disqualify ballots that arrive (or are counted!) after Election Day. This, of course, is allowed under some states' laws.

No matter, Kavanaugh says. If a state court determines it's allowed under state law, SCOTUS can and should step in. /3
Read 8 tweets
20 Sep 20
Scott's wonderful--& hilarious--memory made me smile, and inspired me to share one of my own:

The Time RBG Put Me In My Place re: My Jabot Game.

At the end of each term, there's a little party for Justices and the clerks. The entertainment's a "skit" put on by the clerks. /1
The idea is for clerks to make fun of the Justices. And it has to be funny. But not *too* cutting. They're justices, after all.

Anyway, I was tasked with the role of playing RBG. Mostly for the physical comedy. I'm a big 6'4. She's...well...she was built a bit differently. /2
To "play" RBG, I procured a black robe--I forget from where--and my co-clerks helped me make a jabot (those are the collars RBG wears).

We bought a lace doily, cut it up, and I wore it over the robe.

That was the extent of my costume. /3
Read 10 tweets

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