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Drug War Damage

Mothers, family members, healthcare professionals and individuals in recovery are joining together to bring focus to our country's failed drug policies and the havoc they have wreaked on our families. Moms United to End the War on Drugs is a growing movement to stop the violence, mass incarceration and overdose deaths that are the result of current punitive and discriminatory drug policies. We are advocating for therapeutic drug policies that reduce the harms of drugs and current drug laws. The figures are staggering.

  • Overdose: In the US, men aged 35-54 are more likely to die of a drug overdose than a car accident. In 2006, the latest figures published by the Centers on Disease Control, 26,400 people died of an unintentional drug overdose in the US. And, yet, because of punitive drug laws, people who witness an overdose are often too afraid to call for help.


  • Arrests: Over 1.8 million people in the US were arrested for a drug offense in 2008, 1.4 million of them for drug possession – not sales or trafficking. A disproportionate number of these arrests are of people of color, particularly young African-American men, even though drug use and sales rates are comparable across racial and ethnic lines.


  • Incarceration: The U.S. represents about 5% of the world's population but nearly 25% of its prisoners. One in 100 American adults – 2.3 million people – is incarcerated. Over 30,000 people are in prison in California for a drug offense; two-thirds for a possession offense.


  • Life-long Exclusion: Consequences of a drug conviction, or even an arrest, may include the permanent loss of educational and employment opportunities, as well as public housing, food stamps and, in many states, the right to vote.


  • Violence: In 2009, 79 American citizens were killed in Mexico. Experts attribute the violence to Mexico's ongoing battle with drug cartels, which may generate 60% of their profits from marijuana alone.


  • Wasted Dollars: The US spends $40 billion a year on the drug war and prison spending continues

    to rise, while spending on addiction treatment is gutted.


  • Better Alternatives: Good Samaritan policies and greater access to naloxone will reduce accidental overdose deaths. Clean needle exchange programs reduce HIV & Hep C, and save lives.


  • Reduce penalties for drug possession to stop over incarceration and exclusion from basic rights. Treatment, in lieu of incarceration for non-violent drug offenses, is an effective, therapeutic strategy. Taxing and regulating marijuana could eventually raise billions in tax revenues, cut law enforcement and prison waste, and take income out of the hands of criminal syndicates.



We encourage you to join Moms United to End the War on Drugs, a campaign of A New PATH(Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) in partnership with a growing number of organizations and individuals in a massive collaborative effort to change our current punitive policies of arrest and imprisonment to health-oriented and therapeutic strategies.

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