Washington, D.C.—In response to the White House Office of National Drug Control Strategy (ONDCP) announcing the Biden Administration’s first year drug policy priorities, Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
"We’re glad the administration is taking important steps to address the overdose crisis—by increasing access and funding to harm reduction services and reducing barriers to life-saving medications—especially as people are dying at an alarming rate. We also appreciate their commitment to studying how to advance racial equity in our drug policies and best implement innovative practices on the ground. But it’s clearly not enough. We need action.
Black, Latinx and Indigenous people continue to lose their lives at the hands of law enforcement in the name of the drug war, and yet, the Administration has chosen to prioritize increased funding for law enforcement. We need supervised consumption sites, not more money for police.
And while we commend the Administration for taking steps to reduce employment discrimination, unless we address the biggest barrier for people trying to get a job—past drug convictions and arrests—we will still be left with significant inequities and racial disparities in the workplace.
It’s time we get serious about saving lives and repairing the damage that has been caused by the drug war, particularly on Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities. We can start by passing federal marijuana reform and ending the criminalization of people for drugs in all forms.”
In November, DPA released a list of priorities it is urging the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize, particularly during its first 100 days in office, which can be found here.