(UnitedVoice.com) – The War on Drugs has cost the US roughly $1 trillion since it began in the 1970s. People caught selling or possessing marijuana were treated just like someone caught selling crack. As a result, thousands of Americans went to prison for low-level drug crimes. Public health was also harmed over the last 40 years, but ending the drug war could turn that around.
According to a 2016 report by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy, the war on drugs caused an increased rate of infection among drug users. This was primarily from needle sharing and a lack of resources to provide treatment and prevention programs across the country.
Oftentimes, when an addict wants to get clean, they don’t have access to the public health services they need to support that journey.
"voters are beginning to reject the so-called war on drugs and its emphasis on addressing the nation’s drug epidemic through a criminal justice approach and move toward the public health approach that is so clearly needed." #ProRecoveryPolicy #WeDORecoverhttps://t.co/VuMq7nXH6p
— The Washington Recovery Alliance (@wa_recovery) December 8, 2020
Figuring out how to end the drug war without decriminalizing all drugs will be the next challenge. There’s a balance to define, but once it starts winding down, the money spent incarcerating people can go toward helping them.
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