Most American Voters Support Decriminalizing All Drugs, Another New Poll Finds

MJ moment

The survey’s release coincides with the introduction of a first-ever congressional bill to decriminalize drugs. By Molly Bernstein & Sean McElwee, The Appeal For 50 years, the so-called “war on drugs,” which President Richard Nixon declared on June 17, 1971, has ravaged entire communities, exacerbated racial inequality and helped propel the United States to the highest incarceration rate in the world. It is a war that, by any measure, has been lost. Abusive and discriminatory policing tactics, long prison terms, and the myriad collateral consequences of criminal convictions have destroyed lives, while doing nothing to curb addiction or the epidemic of overdose fatalities. These destructive policies of criminalization are also unpopular. A new national poll from Data for Progress and The Lab, a policy vertical of The Appeal, found that more than seven in ten voters (71 percent) believe that federal drug policies are not working and that there is a need for reform. Voters no longer want to treat public health issues like drug use and addiction as matters of crime and law enforcement—they support decriminalizing both drug possession (59 percent support) and the distribution of drugs in small quantities (55 percent support), while also shifting regulatory power over drugs from the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Department of Health & Human Services (60 percent support). Many of these reforms are part of the Drug Policy Reform Act (DPRA), announced this week by Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO). The DPRA would eliminate incarceration as a penalty for possession of any drug, expunge possession convictions retroactively, invest in alternative harm reduction programming and place drug classification power within DHS. The DPRA also creates incentives for state and local jurisdictions to decriminalize drug possession and invest in alternatives to incarceration, reflecting momentum toward decriminalization already in full swing at the state and local…

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Source : Most American Voters Support Decriminalizing All Drugs, Another New Poll Finds

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