Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO) will reintroduce the Drug Policy Reform Act. It aims to decriminalize all illicit drugs and facilitate mass expungements, challenging the racially discriminatory War on Drugs.
Promoting Equitable Solutions and Challenging the Status Quo
The bill, first introduced in 2021, takes a public health-focused approach. It removes the threat of incarceration for personal drug possession, shifts drug classification responsibility to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and mandates expungements for eligible convictions within one year.
Watson Coleman and Bush advocate for the bill in Congress, urging the Biden Administration to adopt a public health-oriented drug policy. The legislation’s impact on incarceration rates varies, but withholding federal law enforcement funds can incentivize states and municipalities to stop criminalizing simple drug possession.
The congresswomen’s reintroduction of the Drug Policy Reform Act signifies a crucial step toward federal drug decriminalization. Prioritizing public health, equity, and justice, the bill challenges historical injustices and aims to redefine drug policy, protect marginalized communities, and save lives.
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