Bonnie Watson Coleman Wants Congress to Apologize for Failed War on Drugs
As the House prepares to vote on more than 20 bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic over the next two weeks, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced a resolution seeking an apology for the failed War on Drugs. The resolution she introduced on Wednesday acknowledges that the War on Drugs, first declared by President Richard Nixon, was a failed policy that followed a misguided history of criminalizing drug use and, as later admitted by Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, specifically sought to disrupt, incarcerate and antagonize his political opponents and Black communities. The War on Drugs led to the racially-charged mass incarceration of millions with outsized impact in communities of color. “Congress has rightly decided to tackle the opioid epidemic with evidence-based policies that seek to solve the issue of addiction. But for years, we criminalized addiction in ways that caused irreparable harm not just to users, but their families, neighborhoods, and communities,” she said. “As we offer up funding and resources to address the disease of addiction among overwhelmingly White users, we must acknowledge our failures to do the same with victims of color.” More here.