Ann Arbor Could Decriminalize Drugs With Student-Led Effort

Ann Arbor Could Decriminalize Drugs With Student-Led Effort
MJ moment

“We’ve seen both locally and nationally that criminalization does not work. It does not decrease drug use; it does not decrease overdose deaths.” By Doug Johnson, Filter A student group has launched a campaign to decriminalize drug possession and low-level distribution in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after months of consulting with members of the community. The University of Michigan chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) drafted the Ann Arbor Resolution to Advance Sensible Drug Policy. The resolution will be put to the city council, and has already won some political support. According to Kylee Crook, community organizing and events chair for the SSDP chapter, members made the most of some down time during the pandemic to create the initiative. The effort involved discussions with activists, politicians, treatment providers and people who use drugs, among other diverse groups. “We’ve really been working on the resolution since revamping SSDP. It’s a long game, and a long-term goal of ours,” she told Filter. The campaign formally launched on March 16, accompanied by a Zoom kickoff event which included speakers such as State Senator Jeff Irwin’s (D-Ann Arbor) chief of staff, Annie Sommerville, as well as SSDP Chapter President Matt Dargay. “I’m proud to join SSDP in their campaign to decriminalize drug possession in Ann Arbor,” Sen. Irwin said in a press release. “The ‘War on Drugs’ has been a complete failure. Addiction is a health issue, not a crime. We need to focus on treatment and rehabilitation.”

The group’s consultations with various community stakeholders led to a suggested permitted threshold of 15 grams of any drug⁠—significantly higher than in some other North American decriminalization measures. Crook said that they will campaign for the council to adopt the measure in July. A representative from the city said they would forward Filter’s request for comment to the mayor’s office; no comment has been…

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Source : Ann Arbor Could Decriminalize Drugs With Student-Led Effort

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