About No Drug War
It’s hard to believe it has been over 40 years since the Nixon declared the super-scary War on Drugs. It’s laughable because it is such an unattainable vision, yet onward it goes.
I wish it was as lighthearted as that, but the repercussions of this policy have completely changed the way our criminal justice system operates.
There are more than 400,000 US citizens currently incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. The War on Drugs has contributed to the US being the world’s #1 jailer; officially erasing the notion that American is the land of the free.
Today as states move toward legalization of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes, the federal government still keeps cannabis and the study of cannabis locked in its Schedule I box. Deemed to have no medicinal value, and as dangerous as heroin, the DEA and Department of Justice must remove this scheduling to make a significant change in how we function as a society.
What We Do
We advocate for the radical change of and elimination of the drug war. We tell the history of the drug war, and we encourage you to stay involved by joining our efforts.
Drug testing is wrong and peaceful cannabis users are most likely to fall victim.
The mass incarceration epidemic did not exist before the drug war. We offer products to pass a drug test because we do not believe drug use should be associated with detainment.
We believe that cannabis is medicine. There is a long way to go before treatment is available to every American. However, we have been the squeaky wheel, and we will never stop. It is actually amazing to see how far we have come as a society.
How Can We End the Drug War?
In 2001, the country of Portugal was in the midst of very own their opioid crisis. The government decided to decriminalize drugs. This approach was wildly unpopular among other countries. However, Portugal decided they had nothing to lose.
Portugal began treating their opioid crisis as a public health issue. Funding for public health services that focused on harm reduction measures and treatment options, were in now the central focus.
“I think harm reduction is not giving up on people, it is respecting their timings and assuming that even if someone is still using drugs, that person deserves the investment of the state in order to have a better and longer life.”
—João Castel-Branco Goulão
National Drug Coordinator for Portugal
These pro-active measures decreased the rate of new HIV infections exponentially. Decriminalization removed the stigma attached to being a “junky”. Drug users were more likely to seek treatment. The community gained more knowledge and empathy, and since it was no longer a criminal matter, police officers stopped arresting low-level drug users.
This new approach to the drug war did not stop people from using drugs; that is unattainable. However, that was not the goal. Portugal surrendered to the drug war because it was the humane thing to do.
Today, the same countries that once criticized Portugal’s model are now taking cues from its success.
Check out this video courtesy of Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. It is a beautiful illustration behind the backward history behind the War on Drugs and why it is time we end it.