The city of Ithaca has ranked on lists of America’s smartest and healthiest cities.
Yet despite Ithaca’s many strengths, it has, like cities across the United States, been hit hard by problems related to drug use, drug addiction, and the broader war on drugs. As overdose deaths rise throughout the region and the nation, policymakers from across the political spectrum have joined law enforcement leaders to declare that we cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem. Simultaneously, there is a growing acknowledgement among policymakers that the war on drugs – the dominant drug policy framework for the past four and a half decades – has failed and new approaches are needed. And in the midst of these developments, communities across the nation are engaged in a powerful dialogue about race relations, a criminal justice system in need of reform, and the need to provide people with the support they need to overcome addiction.
With this backdrop, we present The Ithaca’s Plan: