GOP Silences Congressional Apology For War On Drugs

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The House of Representatives will not be allowed to vote on a measure apologizing to “the individuals and communities harmed through the War on Drugs” because Republican leadership has blocked it from advancing.

“The War on Drugs is a racially charged policy that has led to the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, disproportionately affecting communities of color, stigmatized these communities as the cause of the drug problem, and has economically, politically, and socially crippled these communities for decades,” reads the proposal, filed by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).

The House Rules Committee, under Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) has made a practice of blocking marijuana and drug policy reform amendments over the course of the past several years. Last week, for example, the panel prevented a measure on medical cannabis research for military veterans from reaching the House floor.

And that was the case with Coleman’s drug war apology measure as well, which was not approved for consideration by the full body when the Rules panel met on Tuesday night.

“Actions by this body have demonized and criminalized addiction for more than 80 years instead of accurately treating it as a health concern,” reads the blocked measure, which Watson Coleman was seeking to attach to an opioid recovery and treatment bill.

Last week, Watson Coleman filed a separate standalone resolution that also calls on Congress to apologize for discriminatory and harmful drug law enforcement. It has not been scheduled for any hearings or votes.

New Resolution Demands Congress Apologize For Failed Drug War

See the full text of Watson Coleman’s blocked drug war apology amendment below:

AMENDMENT TO RULES COMMITTEE PRINT 115- 76

OFFERED BY MRS. WATSON COLEMAN OF NEW JERSEY

Add at the end the following new section: SEC. lll. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON THE FAILURE OF THE WAR ON DRUGS.

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the War on Drugs has failed to achieve its goal of reducing drug use;

(2) the War on Drugs has created conditions in the United States that has allowed the opioid epidemic to be as deadly as it is;

(3) the War on Drugs is a racially charged policy that has led to the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, disproportionately affecting communities of color, stigmatized these communities as the cause of the drug problem, and has economically, politically, and socially crippled these communities for decades;

(4) in order to help those impacted, drug use has to be seen as a health issue and not a criminal issue;

(5) Congress should seek to hereby reconsider all laws associated and consistent with the War on Drugs, and prioritizes effective, evidence-based health policy solutions for individuals and communities suffering from addiction;

(6) Congress should enact civil remedies and restorative justice for any individual who has been incarcerated or otherwise punished through the Federal criminal justice system due to laws associated and consistent with the War on Drugs;

(7) Congress affirms that all individuals suffering from the disease of addiction be treated humanely, with equity and respect as all people struggling with any other health matter; and

(8) Congress hereby apologizes to the individuals and communities harmed through the War on Drugs and acknowledges that actions by this body have demonized and criminalized addiction for more than 80 years instead of accurately treating it as a health concern.

Photo courtesy of David.

The post GOP Silences Congressional Apology For War On Drugs appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Tags: National, Republicans

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