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Eric Holder to give thumbs-up to drop jail time for drug offenders

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Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to testify before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on Thursday and say that yes, the average sentence for drug dealers should be dropped by a year, from 62 months to 51 months.

Mr. Holder is among several politicians from both sides of the aisle pushing to drop mandates on minimum sentences for nonviolent drug criminals. The Justice Department just a few weeks ago sent out a rally call for those in jail for crack cocaine charges — who weren't convicted of any type of violence during their sentencing — to apply for clemency, The New York Times reported.

"This over reliance on incarceration is not just financially unsustainable," Mr. Holder's prepared remarks to the commission stated, a copy of which was reported by The New York Times. "It comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate."

If the rally call to drop sentences for drug criminals becomes the new order of the day, an estimated 6,550 inmates in the federal system could be let free before their sentence is wrapped over the next five years, The New York Times reported.

Mr. Holder's push for more leniency for certain drug criminals comes on the heels of President Obama's much-reported remarks that marijuana is hardly different from tobacco in terms of health hazards, and no more dangerous than alcohol.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Holder said that banks don't have to worry about accepting cash from legally operated marijuana businesses — that the federal government would not stand in their way.

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