People need support, not punishment. The decision to punish drug use has affected nearly every aspect of daily life. The drug war has now spread beyond the criminal system into education, employment, housing, and more. The Drug Policy Alliance is working to end the punishment and surveillance that harm families and communities.
Police are not the only enforcers of drug war policies. Doctors, social workers, and teachers should be part of the support system for people who struggle with addiction. Instead, they are used to monitor, report, and punish drug use. Ending civil punishments means challenging the way punitive approaches have distorted supportive spaces and harmed people.
Drug testing and discrimination against employees with a drug record rob people's livelihood. Almost a quarter of the U.S. workforce is subject to drug tests at work, but there is no proof testing increases productivity or predicts impairment.Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Science Direct
Any parental drug use is used to justify invasive searches, family separation, and even termination of parental rights. This happens despite a lack of evidence connecting drug use to the ability to care for children. Black families are especially targeted by these policies even though rates of use are similar to other groups.Source: Movement for Family Power
A place to live is a basic human need. Zero-tolerance policies by landlords and public housing for even suspected drug use can lead to people becoming unhoused.Source: Annals of Medicine