This June 17th marks the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s declaration of the War on Drugs. The evidence is clear that the drug war has failed; 83% of Americans say so in a recent ACLU poll.
Cal NORML is declaring a day of peace on June 17 in support of more effective, equitable, and humane policies towards drugs.
- The War on Drugs is a war on people. Since 1971, California has recorded over 10 million felony drug arrests, including 1 million felony marijuana arrests.
- The War on Drugs has disproportionately criminalized the disadvantaged, the poor, and racial and ethnic minorities. Blacks were four times more likely than whites to be arrested for a marijuana crime in California in 2019, when Hispanics were twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana as whites.
- The War on Drugs is a crime-creation program. The drug laws provide economic opportunity for underground dealers, smugglers, and cartels, while criminalizing millions of users and draining police resources better aimed at violent or other crimes.
- While California has rightly moved to legalize cannabis, excessive regulations and taxes at state and local levels handicap the licensed industry and continue to feed the illicit market. The barriers are especially burdensome to less wealthy equity applicants.
- The War on Drugs has not solved our drug abuse problem. Tragically, it has failed to stem an epidemic of opiate abuse fed by prescription drugs, heroin and fentanyl.
- Meanwhile, U.S. law still bans the medical use of cannabis, despite overwhelming evidence that it can effectively reduce opiate abuse in the treatment of chronic pain.
- U.S. law likewise bars research using state-legal cannabis.
- Californians have repeatedly shown they are fed up with crime-creating drug laws by voting for Prop. 215, Prop. 36, Prop. 47, and Prop 64.
We therefore call for designating June 17, 2021 as a day of Peace, and join 65% of Americans in calling for an end to the US’s unjust and inequitable War on Drugs, and invite the public and our elected officials to join us.
Thanks to Glass House Farms for helping to communicate this message.