Drug Policy Alliance Outlines Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration’s First 100 Days

Press Release November 18, 2020
Media Contact

Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) released a list of priorities it is urging the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize, particularly during its first 100 days in office.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the Biden-Harris administration to pass meaningful drug policy reforms that will shift the focus away from the criminal legal system and towards a compassionate, health-based approach,” said Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. “For too long, millions of Americans have been denied justice and access to the health services they need to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. People want change. We’ve heard their voices – including in this most recent election – that we should be addressing drug use differently. The new administration must act on the critical priorities we outline or risk seeing drug-related deaths rise, as they have in past administrations.”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take office at a moment when the overdose crisis has already claimed 70,000 lives per year in the United States. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to further endanger the lives of vulnerable populations, particularly people who are incarcerated and people who use drugs, it is critical that the next administration work hand-in-hand with Congress and use its executive powers to save lives and provide relief, as outlined, in summary, below.

Legislative Priorities in Congress

Executive Branch Priorities 

“Finally, we must remain vigilant of alternate ways the state can inflict violence on marginalized communities and should reject mandated treatment for people who use drugs. Many of the same constructs that led to mass criminalization and incarceration are behind involuntary and coercive treatment like drug courts, including racism, stigmatization, ableism, and profit over people. We must fight these regressive policies and ensure dollars are instead being funneled to effective, evidence-based, culturally competent, and community-based harm reduction and substance use disorder treatment services,” Perez added. 

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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