An Illinois House committee on Thursday approved a blistering resolution condemning the war on drugs and its discriminatory impact on communities of color.
The House Human Services Committee adopted the measure, which has the short title of “Shameful History-War on Drugs.” It’s now been placed on the calendar for floor consideration.
While there have been similar resolutions filed in Congress and state legislatures decrying the harms of criminalizing people over drugs, this one in particular, sponsored by Rep. Mary Flowers (D), puts the issue in no uncertain terms.
It starts with the history of the drug war under the Nixon administration, calling it a “a failed, costly, and inhumane” effort that would “prove to be the United States’ longest and costliest war and ultimately a complete and shameful failure.”
What’s more, the “real enemies” that President Richard Nixon targeted “were not drug abusers but were the anti-war left and Black Americans,” the measure states.
The drug war fueled mass incarceration, it continues, noting that one factor that’s led to a more recent decline in the male prison population seems to be states and local municipalities moving to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.
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“The War on Drugs has proven to be a costly, failed disaster that shamefully affected some of America’s most vulnerable populations,” the resolution says, “therefore, be it resolved, by the House of Representatives of the 102nd General Assembly of the state of Illinois, that we recognize the shameful and discriminatory history