Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) has launched a decision within the House of Representatives that may acknowledge the warfare on medicine has failed. Watson Coleman filed the measure, House Resolution 933, on Tuesday. More than two dozen further Representatives have additionally added their names as sponsors of the laws.
Watson Coleman famous that the federal government is addressing the present opioid disaster in a different way than earlier drug points.
“The War on Drugs didn’t just fail to stem the damage of addiction, its very declaration failed to meet the values of equality and justice our nation was founded on,” she stated in a launch. “Congress has rightly decided to tackle the opioid epidemic with evidence-based policies that seek to solve the issue of addiction. But for years, we criminalized addiction in ways that caused irreparable harm not just to users, but their families, neighborhoods, and communities. As we offer up funding and resources to address the disease of addiction among overwhelmingly White users, we must acknowledge our failures to do the same with victims of color.”
The decision particularly calls on Congress to admit the War on Drugs has failed to scale back drug use. It additionally provides an apology to victims of the failed coverage.
“To acknowledge that the War on Drugs has been a failed policy in achieving the goal of reducing drug use, and for the House of Representatives to apologize to the individuals and communities that were victimized by this policy,” it reads.
Resolution Details Racial Bias
Rep. Watson Coleman’s decision additionally particulars racial bias and propaganda which have fueled drug prohibition. It notes that in 1937, Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger was brazenly racist in congressional testimony.
“I wish I could show you what a small marijuana cigarette can do to one of our degenerate Spanish speaking residents. That’s why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions,” he stated.
H. Res. 933 additionally notes the racial and political motives behind President Richard Nixon’s insurance policies. Nixon formally declared the War on Drugs in 1971, saying drug abuse was “public enemy number one.”
But in 1994, Nixon aide John Ehrlichman admitted that the coverage was actually an effort to management liberals and blacks.
“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did,” he stated.
The decision additionally notes that the War on Drugs created circumstances that exacerbated the opioid epidemic. The coverage has additionally led to “racially-charged mass incarceration of millions” of individuals, in accordance to the decision.
The decision calls for modifications in drug coverage and its creation sooner or later. It seeks to deal with habit as a well being challenge quite than a legal justice matter. The measure additionally helps a evaluate of War on Drugs-era legal guidelines and changing them with evidence-based statutes. Groups together with the Drug Policy Alliance and Amnesty International have expressed help for Watson Coleman’s decision.