When I first started doing drug policy work I was more interested in sentencing reform. I felt that black people were getting much too long sentences for drug offenses and that we needed to both reduce that time and find a way to make drug law enforcement more equitable and fair.
But the more I’ve learned about the Drug War and the more I’ve traveled and really gotten deep into understanding drug policy, I realize that it’s not a system that’s capable of being reformed and the only thing that we can do is repeal these policies. They were never designed to work. They cannot work. Keeping them in place only further damages people which has been happening for almost one hundred years.

So I truly believe that at some point people will look at drug prohibition the same way that we now look at alcohol prohibition – as a crazy, stupid experiment that didn’t work, that couldn’t have worked. We never understood why people thought that it could work in the first place and folks are glad that they got rid of it. I truly believe that that is how we will come to see drug prohibition. I just hope to see that happen in my lifetime.

Deborah Small, Director of Break the Chains

Under prohibition you have no control so therefore our children have unlimited access to all of these drugs. We have been at this so long. What we have done is created an underground economy, where there are literally tens of millions of people, in this country, who depend on the illegal drug trade, for their wherewithal.
We need a Marshall Plan. We need indemnification for America, in and around this drug war, and I’m not talking about an individual check to each individual that’s been hurt by this drug war, I’m talking about blanket legislation that will put money within the communities to help them come out of this malaise that we’re in, because of this drug war.
The fear of the politicians is that if they propose something like legalizing drugs, they fear that they would not get elected. And it makes a lot of sense to me because the people, the general populace, first and foremost are not well, what I call well-educated and they don’t seem to want to be educated on the particular subject. But we don’t realize, as a country, that this drug war, as I’ve said many times, many ways, is sucking this country dry. We can start to look at our health system, our education system and economic system and see that for the past almost a century, that drug prohibition has been a steady drain on the money to utilize things like education, health care and our economic system. So we’re heading down the road of catastrophe. The United States is really an accident waiting to happen.

Cliff Thornton, Director of Efficacy Online