Communities need resources to thrive. The U.S. government spends billions each year enforcing drug war prohibition. This money can be better spent supporting communities. This includes addressing the root causes of problematic drug use. The Drug Policy Alliance believes we must reinvest funds back into the communities most harmed by the drug war.
Policymakers invested in criminalization as a tool of social control. The criminalization of drugs was presented as a drug use deterrent. Criminalization is costly and ineffective. Community reinvestment means prioritizing city, state, and federal funds for the support communities need. For example, funding addiction services and social supports over more police.
Each year, the U.S. spends an estimated $47 billion enforcing drug prohibition laws. Yet, overdose rates continue to rise. Illicit drugs are more potent than ever. Enforcement and arrest tear communities apart.Source: Cato Institute
People struggling with addiction need services and social supports. This includes evidence-based crisis response that does not rely on the police. Examples include addiction services, harm reduction programs, and permanent supportive housing.
People are the experts in their lives on what they need. Communities most harmed by the drug war need to inform policy decisions. This especially includes communities of color and people experiencing poverty.