Gail S. Phares: Reform drug policy

November 13, 2012 

Reform drug policy

Congratulations to voters in Colorado and Washington state for seeking alternatives to our current drug policy that does not work. After more than 40 years and a trillion dollars, it is time to recognize the U.S. War on Drugs as a failure. At home, punitive policies have failed to address the problems directly related to drugs and drug use. Instead, they have led to human rights abuses, racist enforcement patterns and landed unprecedented levels of nonviolent drug offenders in prison.

In Latin America, a militarized drug interdiction and source-eradication strategy has not curbed production or trafficking. It has instead led to increased displacement, migration, mass human rights violations and the loss of tens of thousands of lives.

We need a new approach to drug policy. We must move past the prohibition quagmire. We must abandon the failed policies of the past and develop mew, effective solutions. Colorado and Washington state are showing the way. Let us regulate and tax drugs. Let us weaken the control of drug dealers. It is time for a change.

Gail S. Phares

Witness for Peace

Raleigh

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