• OAK Street Initiative

End the War on Drugs

America’s #WarOnDrugs has failed.

Overdose deaths continue to rise. Accroding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 81,000 Americans died due to overdose from May 2019 to May 2020- the highest ever in a 12 month period.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was created in 1973 to consolidate federal drug enforcement efforts. In 2021, the DEA has a 3.5B budget, but has failed to produce results.

The total economic toll of the #WarOnDrugs is even greater. Misuse of prescription opioids alone has devastating financial and social implications for America.

Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions and even after billions of dollars spent on the War on Drugs, drugs of all kinds remain cheap, potent and widely available.

The DEA has fueled mass incarceration in America & today the US has the world’s largest prison population.

The War on Drugs & DEA unfairly target communities of color resulting in unequal outcomes for BIPOC.

The DEA was tasked with classifying and establishing controls on drugs. But the agency has blocked research into drugs that could have significant health benefits, including marijuana. The failed #WarOnDrugs must end. Decriminalization of marijuana must continue at the state level and should be federal policy.

We can not arrest our way out of America’s drug problem. There is a better way forward for America. OAK Street Initiative calls for a health-based approach to addressing addiction and improving the social conditions that can lead to drug use.

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