ACLU of Massachusetts executive director Carol Rose speaks with NECN about national and local efforts for needed criminal justice reform—including President Obama's announcement this week of 46 commutations of non-violent drug offenders and ACLU-backed legislation that would repeal mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses in Massachusetts. She explains:

"We realize now that it's possible to stop trying to arrest our way or lock up our way out of the substance abuse problem in this country and instead, to think of it as a public health issue, which it really is...

"We're a smart and educated state. We shouldn't spend our tax dollars locking people up, but rather use that to treat them and to use diversion programs. That's good for public safety, that's good for public health, and that's good for America."

Watch her discussion: Cease Fire on the War on Drugs?