The Trump administration’s get-tough drug enforcement policy aims to set the tone for the rest of country by projecting a distaste for leniency and an embrace of mandatory minimum prison sentences.
But that outlook is becoming more passé by the day — even by the standards of the president’s own party.
A bipartisan movement to scale back drug laws, gaining momentum for a decade, has spread to some of the country’s most conservative regions. Of the more than 20 states that have softened their treatment of low-level, nonviolent drug offenders since 2007, half have Republican governors and Republican-led legislatures. Among those deep-red states, many — including Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Iowa and Mississippi — have shrunk prison populations while cutting crime.