Tell the Senate Not to Escalate the War on Drugs
The U.S. Senate is rushing to pass four bills that would expand the DEA’s power by giving them the authority to outlaw even more substances across the country and subject more Americans to long mandatory minimum sentences. This legislation would waste your tax dollars by escalating the war on drugs and increasing the DEA’s power.
These draconian bills would make it easier for the DEA to ban and criminalize more drugs. The legislation would make it easier for the DEA to bypass the formal drug scheduling process and prohibit substances at their own discretion. If enacted, possession of any quantity could subject someone to a mandatory minimum sentence and incarceration. This misguided legislation would make it easier for the DEA -- a law enforcement agency -- to decide what drugs should be legal or illegal at their whim.
The DEA has a history of consistently ignoring sound scientific research and issuing outright lies about marijuana and other drugs. They routinely reject science and common sense in favor of fear and hysteria, and are an obstacle to evidence-based drug policies.
Given their anti-science, anti-public health record, why give federal police agents more authority over more substances?
These bills would give the DEA greater power, increase the number of people in federal prison for nonviolent drug law offenses and waste taxpayer money. Tell the Senate: Don't escalate the war on drugs!
These legislative proposals would criminalize more than four dozen synthetic chemicals, handing the market for the products over to drug traffickers and organized crime instead of doctors and a regulatory system. Because they do not include quantity thresholds, if enacted, possession of any quantity could subject someone to a mandatory minimum or otherwise extremely long sentence. Moreover no effort has been made to estimate the impact on the over-crowded prison system or the health and well-being of people who need treatment. And the legislation makes it easier for the DEA -- a law enforcement agency -- to decide what drugs should be legal or illegal, diminishing the role that both science and Congress plays.
Last year marked the 40th Anniversary of the war on drugs. Tens of millions of Americans have been arrested and more than a trillion taxpayer dollars spent yet drugs are cheap, potent, and readily available in every community. It's time for a new approach. I urge you to oppose S. 605, S. 409, S. 839 and H.R. 1254 and work on real solutions to our nation's drug problems instead.